Willsboro businesswoman Stefanik says she’ll challenge Owens for NY21 seat

Still from the online spot introducing Elise Stefanik's candidacy for the NY21 Congressional District. Image: Campaign website

Still from the online spot introducing Elise Stefanik’s candidacy for the NY21 Congressional District. Image: Campaign website

Elise Stefanik, a 29-year-old former George W. Bush staffer who’s works in her family’s plywood business in Altamont, NY, has announced she’ll seek the Republican nomination to run in the race for New York’s 21st Congressional District next year. She’d oppose Bill Owens. That’s according to the Watertown Daily Times today.

Here’s Stefanik’s video introducing her candidacy (from YouTube, via CQ Roll Call). Roll Call also reports she also ran debate preparations for Paul Ryan during the 2012 campaign, before returning to New York. Another Republican, St. Lawrence County Emergency Services Director and Northern New York Tea Party president, also announced this week that he’s planning to run for the slot, which Owens won by two points last year. Lots more detail in both the Roll Call and WDT articles.

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38 Comments on “Willsboro businesswoman Stefanik says she’ll challenge Owens for NY21 seat”

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  1. It’s ironic that the local ‘tea party’ chairman’s job is running a government agency that, following ‘tea party’ rhetoric, shouldn’t even exist.

  2. Peter Hahn says:

    Do we really need any more Tea Party Republicans in congress?

  3. Walker says:

    Wow! We need more votes to repeal Obamacare?! Forty isn’t enough? Either she hasn’t been paying attention, or she thinks we haven’t been paying attention.

  4. Indeed Walker, because holding dozens and dozens of charade votes that they know will never become law and wasting tens of millions on those sham votes is emblematic about those who want ‘less spending’ act.

  5. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    Maybe this is a little picky because we all know what you mean, at least I think I do, but I’m guessing the family business is in the town of Altamont, not in Altamont, NY which is where they have the Altamont Fairgrounds near Albany.

    NY is really confusing that way. There is Chester, NY which is nowhere near Chestertown; Hampton which is near Vermont and not in the Hamptons, South Salem which is maybe 100 miles south of Salem, and there are lots more.

    And let’s not even start with all the places in the world we can visit right here in the NCPR listening area or close by. You could easily drive from Potsdam to Copenhagen and Denmark, on to Russia and Poland, make a turn to Norway. Of course there is Peru for those who prefer the Southern Hemisphere, and Im sure I’ve been to Cuba once but maybe that is in the Southern Tier. And I’ve been to Dresden and Berlin, Hague but not The Hague and Amsterdam, Syracuse and Ithaca, and Smyrna for those who like Mediterranean climes but they are well out of coverage area. i know there’s more.

  6. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    No, wait! Altamont is right! So she lives in Willsboro but works in Altamont? That is quite a commute every day. Or maybe she is just using a seasonal home address to be within the district?

  7. Peter Klein says:

    First, thanks knuck for the laugh about all of the town names.
    Second, everyone running for office is going to create jobs, so they say . Thanks but, according to all the rhetoric, the best way to create jobs is to stay in the private sector and start a business that creates jobs. It is not by joining all those “evil” people down in Washington.
    Also, all those in government who want to get rid of Obamacare should start by getting rid of their tax payer paid for health care and pensions, and pay for it out of their own pocket.
    If they don’t want to marry someone who is gay, they shouldn’t.
    If they don’t want to have an abortion, they shouldn’t.
    Mostly what they should do is shut up and work for a living.

  8. wakeup says:

    There is only one Altamont, NY and it’s near Albany.

  9. wakeup says:

    Why do I get a thumbs down for stating a fact? lol

  10. Paul Turner says:

    In the Watertown newspapers, Ed Gillespie of the Republican National Committee is quoted as saying that because of her “deep roots” in the community, the “Willsboro businesswoman” deserves to be elected.
    She has no listed phone number in Willsboro.
    There are no Stefaniks listed in Willsboro.
    No one in Willsboro has ever heard of her (at least the deep-rooted people I spoke with).
    Therefore, Elise Stefanik is not a Willsboro businesswoman nor does she have deep roots in this community.
    Is this the best candidate that the Republican Party can find???

  11. Peter Hahn says:

    maybe they dont like the facts

  12. Walker says:

    According to the Post-Star, “Stefanik works in sales, marketing and management for Premium Plywood Products, headquartered in Guilderland Center, a company that her family owns.” That’s a 142-mile, two and a half hour drive from Willsboro. Heck of a commute!

  13. George says:

    Hey Knuck, Been through Greece, Mexico and Palermo also in NY

  14. “There is Chester, NY which is nowhere near Chestertown.”

    Chestertown is in the town of Chester (Warren County). What’s confusing is that there are actually two towns of Chester, NY. The other being in Orange County.

    I didn’t think state law allowed for two of the same municipality type to have the same name. For example, there used to be two Altamonts in NY, but one was a village (Albany County) and the other a town (Franklin County). The latter of course has been renamed the town of Tupper Lake. But I didn’t think there could be two towns in the state with the same name.

  15. Mervel says:

    That is a big commute.

    She needs to run where she lives and not try to fish around for a district. Politics in the North Country is pretty local, it is doubtful regardless of her stances that she could win against a local guy like Owens. Although I do like it when younger adults give this a shot, we need more people of her generation in Congress and running for office.

  16. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    I guess I’m not up with the times. I thought Tupper Lake was still in the town of Altamont. Of course I still call the Great Escape Storytown, too.

  17. Walker says:

    They renamed Tupper’s Altamont “Tupper Lake” in July, 2004.

  18. Marlo Stanfield says:

    There are two towns of Brighton, too — one by Saranac Lake and one near Rochester.

    So where’s Ms. Stefanik from? I read her website and it’s very vague. Where did she grow up? Where did she go to high school? How long has she lived in Willsboro? Does she even really live there? What’s her connection to this area, other than maybe wood deliveries?

    I don’t like carpetbaggers, I didn’t like it when Hillary did it and I don’t like it now.

  19. Paul Turner says:

    As I read the newspapers from the four media markets across the 21st Congressional District as well as in D.C., each seems to have slightly differing bio’s on Ms. Stefanik and each is vague. For example, in the Glens Falls’ Post Star, her family business is listed in Guilderland Center yet NCPR and the Watertown paper list the location as Altamont. Yes, they are only about 3 miles from each other but each is a distinct community so why not list one and stick with it?

    Roll Call of Washington, DC, states that “While working in the White House, Stefanik served in the domestic policy and chief of staff’s offices during President George W. Bush’s second term.” Now 29 years old, G. . Bush’s second term was from 2004 to 2008 thus making Ms. Stefanik between 20 and 24 years of age at the time. What exactly were her duties?

    The Watertown Daily Times news release lists her as the “director of debate preparation for 2012 Vice Presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan.” During that same time, she was the “policy director of the 2012 Republican national platform, director of communications for the Foreign Policy Initiative and as policy director on Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s presidential campaign.” All at the same time. Really???

    So, assuming Ms. Stefanik stayed in politics until the end of the 2012 election, she could have joined her family’s business in December of 2012 thus making her a businesswoman with only about 9 months of experience.

    Now, I realize that because the language in the various “articles” is almost, almost identical, the “news” is coming from a campaign-generated press release and I don’t blame any of the media outlets for not trying to clear up the anomalies (yet) and perhaps now they will. Calling Brian Mann.

    I had never heard of Ms. Stefanik before the NCPR blurb came across this morning. I’ve lived in Willsboro and was at first happy that the spotlight was being shone on this wonderful area. However, when trying to learn more, I kept running into minor anachronisms – sort of like Spartacus wearing a Rolex. She’s young and smart (Harvard)(major?)(GPA?) but her bio has puffed too many important (sounding) positions into too short a period of time.

    She may yet turn out to be a great candidate and perhaps even a great Congresswoman but we, the electorate, deserve an unassailable story of who she really is, what she’s really accomplished in her short career and where she really lives and works.

    Heck of a way to kick off a campaign, eh?

  20. Marlo Stanfield says:

    She’s Dick Whitman!

  21. Mervel says:

    Come on she is only 29.

    I think politicians always pump up their resume’s. But she can’t get around where she is from and where she lives. I agree with Marlo though, I really like Hillary Clinton, but I didn’t like it that she just picked New York out and ran here. (Although she did a good job).

  22. It's Still All Bush's Fault says:

    Too young. Good luck getting her transcripts from Harvard.

  23. John Warren says:

    My first question for her: When can we expect our trickle-down to arrive?

  24. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    “Stefanik, a former White House aide in the Bush administration and a debate advisor to 2012 GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan, has said she expects to raise at least $2 million to fund her campaign.”


    Various media describe Stefanik as a businesswoman, which seems inaccurate considering there is no indication she has ever started a business and her resume appears to be primarily in politics. Sure, she has a position in her family business, so I guess everyone is on board with the idea that everyone pads their resume and that is alright.

    More disturbing is the idea that a 29 year old with some apparent skill but to all appearances hardly any more skilled or clever than a thousand other young people who live within the district is confident she will raise $2 million for a race in a backwater district. I guess it doesn’t hurt to have connections to the highest level DC political consultants, but doesn’t it just seem wrong that people feel like they can just buy an election?

  25. The Original Larry says:

    Yeah, a Democrat would never do that! Hilary Clinton and Jon Corzine wrote the book on carpet-bagging, election buying and generalized corruption.

  26. Talkthefacts says:

    It never fails with people of liberal leanings-when a republican or conservative candidate says something you don’t like you take the distraction position-name calling, rip apart where she lives or doesn’t live, gravitating to if indeed a town does exist in our area. How about commenting on issues by using facts to back up your postings. How about commenting about the fact that we now have more people on food stamps than we have in full time employment (and declining).

  27. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    Talkthefacts, I suppose you are talking to me so I will answer for myself. So far this candidate hasn’t stated much in the way of policy or facts. I think the Post Star story said she was going to address specific issues when she came to Glens Falls, if I remember right she said it would be Thursday.

    I don’t have any problem with Stefanik running, I think it is good for democracy for a variety of candidates to run. I especially like it when folks on the other side beat each other up and spend lots of money on primaries; I’m sure others feel the same way in reverse.

    I think my discomfort with the amount of money it takes to win an election is a bi-partisan issue. There are lots of people on the right left and middle who won’t run for public office because of the amount of money needed to run a campaign. If you watch the video posted above it is pretty obvious that Stefanik has a very sophisticated team already at work creating an image. I don’t think I’ve said anything terribly disparaging about her nor have I tried to, but I am discouraged by the escalating sort of myth-building politics that are evidenced here. Some myths are built on truth, others aren’t, which is this?

  28. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    And if you don’t like my comments about town names don’t read this.

    Has anyone else noticed that we have lots of sexist town names? We have Russell, Thurman, Lawrence, Benson, Chester…but where are the girl names? We should change some of the names to be more gender neutral.

  29. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    Lewis too. And forget about Manheim, and Manlius. Maybe we could attract tourist to a town called Womanlious, or Womanliness.

  30. The Original Larry says:

    Moriah? Shirley?

  31. The Original Larry says:

    On a serious note, which myth was it that Hilary ran on? That she lived in New York? Was really a Yankee fan? Had elective office experience? Had a scandal-free tenure as First Lady? Had a scandal-free career as a lawyer.

    Let us know.

  32. It's Still All Bush's Fault says:

    Lorraine, Elizabethtown, Elmira, Alexandria

  33. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    I thought they called the wind Moriah. Shirley, you jest!

    Elmira? Okay I’ll give it to you. Shame on me for not getting Elizabethtown and Alexandria. I don’t think I’ve ever been to Lorraine, guess I’ll have to visit. Mayor Clyde offered to buy me a beer in Saranac, I wonder if the mayor of Lorraine will too.

  34. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    Talkthefacts, the fact is that we still have far more people employed full time than we have collecting Food Stamps. That isn’t to say that there isn’t a problem with the number of people on assistance, it is just a fact.
    The increase in Food Stamp recipients dates back to the 2002 Farm Bill signed by Bush and the 2008 Farm Bill passed over Bush’s veto. So there was a massive increase during the Bush years which has continued in the Obama administration. If we look at employment statistics we find that there has been a big increase in part time employment vs full time in the last several years for several reasons, businesses trying to cut costs for one and because Congress has resisted stimulus efforts proposed by Obama. In addition, Republicans have resisted an increase in the minimum wage which would help people make ends meet without Food Stamps. Thankfully we have the Food Stamp program to help struggling families until Republicans stop obstructing Democratic efforts to improve the economy.

  35. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    OL, Hillary never ran on living in NYC. I think she and Bill live in Westchester County, officially. I don’t know or care if she’s a Yankees fan and I don’t think she ever claimed to have had extensive elective office experience. If you want to bring up scandals then please bring up all the investigations Republicans have started trying to find some illegal activity on the part of Hillary and if they found anything credible there would have been charges filed. So if you want to talk about myth building around Hillary you should start with the myth that Hillary is some sort of evil incarnate, or that she killed Vince Foster or whatever.

    What Hillary has shown is that she has been a hard working and highly effective Senator and Secretary of State. I expect she would have been a good president to, and yet may be.

  36. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    By the way, I don’t discount the idea that Stefanik could be a hard working and effective representative. I think lots of other people could be too.

  37. The Original Larry says:

    Hilary represented herself as a resident of New York State when she “moved” there only so she could run for the Senate. The real myth was that she was a “highly effective Senator and Secretary of State”. Really? Her accomplishments included what, exactly? A dead Ambassador? That’s a hell of a record to run on!

  38. Peter Klein says:

    This story needs to be updated.
    I heard where a Tea Party guy by the name of Joseph M. Gilbert, St. Lawrence County emergency services director, declared this past Saturday afternoon that he will run for Congress against U.S. Rep. William L. Owens, D-Plattsburgh.

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