Elise Stefanik keeps seat in Congress

Elise Stefanik is pictured in The Leader-Herald office last week. (The Leader-Herald/Patricia Older)

JOHNSTOWN — Republican U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik on Tuesday was easily returned to Congress for a third, two-year term, beating Democratic Canton civic leader Tedra Cobb by 15 percentage points.

With 551 of 556 precincts reporting, the state Board of Elections reported that Stefanik was re-elected in the 12-county 21st Congressional District. Unofficially, she had gained 122,863 votes to Cobb’s 90,526 votes. The ratio of victory for the incumbent was 57 to 41 percent.

Stefanik, of Willsboro, couldn’t be reached for comment this morning.

She did very well in Republican-dominant Fulton County, winning 10,616 to 5,107. That was a 65 to 31 percent victory over Cobb.

In Hamilton County, Stefanik also enjoyed a 1,632 to 774 victory; translating to a 65 to 31 percent win.

Stefanik, the 34-year-old incumbent, has served in Congress since 2015.

Cobb, 51, has worked as a consultant and educator and served as a St. Lawrence County legislator from 2002 to 2010.

A spokesperson for Cobb’s campaign this morning said she personally would have no comment.

The Environmental Defense Fund issued a statement congratulating Stefanik on her re-election.

“Elise Stefanik will continue to stand up for a clean and healthy environment,” said Joe Bonfiglio, president of EDF. “EDF Action is proud to have played a role in helping reelect Rep. Stefanik to the U.S. House. We look forward to continuing our work with Congresswoman Stefanik and all our leaders to build a healthier, more prosperous future for this nation.”

Fulton County Republican Committee Chairwoman Sue McNeil stated today, “I’m thrilled our three representatives all got elected.”

She was referring to U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik, state Assembly candidate Robert Smullen and state Sen. James Tedisco.

“We got great representation from Stefanik and Tedisco, so we’re on the right road,” McNeil said. “I’m very happy with the result.”

McNeil also praised the “team effort” in Fulton County. She said Smullen was not only very visible in Fulton County, but went “door-to-door” in the other four counties of the 118th Assembly District.

“That makes a difference,” the GOP leader said.

Stefanik has been serving as the U.S. Representative for New York’s 21st Congressional district since 2015. First elected at the age of 30, she was the youngest woman ever elected to Congress at the time.

The Albany native entered Harvard University, graduating in 2006 with a B.A. in government. While at Harvard, she was awarded the Women’s Leadership Award. After graduating from Harvard, she joined the administration of President George W. Bush, working as staff to the Domestic Policy Council.

Stefanik also worked in the office of the White House Chief of Staff for Joshua Bolten, Bush’s second deputy chief of staff. She has worked as communications director for the Foreign Policy Initiative and as the policy director for former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty during his 2012 presidential campaign.

Stefanik managed Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan’s debate preparation as he ran for vice president of the United States in the 2012 general election. Following the Romney-Ryan loss in the 2012 presidential election, she returned to upstate New York to join her parents’ wholesale plywood business, located in Guilderland Center.

In January 2015, Stefanik was appointed to the House Armed Services Committee. She was elected by the freshman Representatives in the 114th Congress to serve as the Freshman Representative to the Policy Committee.

In February 2015, she was appointed vice chairwoman of the House Armed Services Committee’s Subcommittee on Readiness.

Stefanik is also a member of the Republican Main Street Partnership[27] and the Climate Solutions Caucus.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at [email protected]

By Patricia Older

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