Northern New York’s Congresswoman took center stage in primetime Wednesday night at the Republican National Convention to deliver a speech in support of President Donald Trump. Congresswoman Elise Stefanik of the 21st District has become a stalwart supporter and Republicans in her district are praising her performance.
Taking to the stage just after 9:30, Congresswoman Elise Stefanik touted the history of the 21st Congressional District, calling it “the Cradle of the American Revolution” and highlighting the Battle of Saratoga, Fort Drum and Lake Placid’s Miracle on Ice. She described growing up the child of a small business owner and becoming the youngest Republican woman ever elected to Congress. During her four-and-a-half minute speech Stefanik said she supports the re-election of President Trump because he is protecting families and the American Dream. “Since his first day in office President Trump has fought tirelessly to deliver results for all Americans. President Trump is working to safely reopen our Main Street economy. He understands that the engine of our country is fueled by the ingenuity and determination of American workers, entrepreneurs, and small businesses. Joe Biden wants to keep them locked up in the basement and crush them with $4 trillion in new taxes. We face a critical choice: Joe Biden's far left failed policies of the past 47 years or President Trump who will stand up for the American people and the Constitution.”
Clinton County Legislature Chair Republican Mark Henry says Stefanik was on point speaking about issues that matter. “I was very pleased to hear Elise speak of workers and small business and entrepreneurs with the economic issues we have in our area due to COVID and the closure of the border. I think folks across both sides of the aisle speak about that at their dinner tables and I know folks ask me about it all the time. So I think those are issues that are important to Democrats, Republicans, Independents. Elise has an independent streak so I think that will resonate with people in our area.”
It is rare for a representative from northern New York to speak in primetime at a national political convention. When Trump was first running for president in 2016, Stefanik distanced herself, saying at the time she would support “the Republican nominee” and skipping the convention. SUNY Plattsburgh Professor of Political Science Dr. Harvey Schantz says since then she has become a staunch Trump supporter. “To some degree her reelection is tied to Donald Trump’s continued strength in our district. And as an analyst I was very interested in her multiple references to New York 21, to the North Country, which show that she’s very cognizant of the fact that she’s up for reelection and that she knows although she’s on the national spotlight her political career rests upon very local roots.”
Stefanik faces Democrat Tedra Cobb as she seeks a fourth term this fall. Cobb says Stefanik’s speech did not mention any of the issues that concern constituents of the district. “We are in a public health crisis right now that has killed more than 180,000 people and infected millions of Americans. We are in an economic crisis that has left tens of millions of Americans without jobs and the familiar wound of systemic racism is tearing our communities apart. And Elise Stefanik has the time to go to Washington and do speeches for political campaigns. Elise Stefanik has one priority: Elise Stefanik.”
The New York State Conservative Party will meet Saturday to formally nominate President Trump and Vice-President Mike Pence. Congresswoman Stefanik will attend to accept the nomination on their behalf.