Stefanik captures fifth congressional term with resounding win

PHOTOGRAPHER:

U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik declares victory on Election Day at their headquarters at Queensbury Hotel in Glens Falls on Tuesday, November 8, 2022.

GLENS FALLS — U.S.  Rep. Elise Stefanik secured her fifth term representing the 21st Congressional District with a resounding win over Democratic challenger Matt Castelli in Tuesday’s election. With 576 of 594 election districts reporting on Tuesday night, Stefanik led Castelli 59% to 39%, securing 160,721 votes to her challenger’s 108,268 ballots.

Speaking to a packed crowd of supporters at a victory party in a ballroom at the Queensbury Hotel in Glens Falls, Stefanik, R-Schuylerville, thanked her backers for delivering her another two-year term in Washington. 

“To the families and the veterans and farmers and small business owners and upstate New York patriots, you delivered another landslide victory,” Stefanik said on Tuesday night. “We are the red wave and I’m so grateful. Upstate New York, we will stand strong against the vicious smears of downstate Democrats. So this is your win.”

It was not clear as of press time if Republicans had wrestled control of the House of Representatives from the Democrats.

Stefanik said that House Republicans would provide oversight of the administration of President Joe Biden.

“We will deliver a government that’s accountable,” she said. “That means investigations and holding Joe Biden and his administration accountable.”

With all 32 Fulton County districts reporting as of Tuesday evening, Stefanik collected 67%t of the vote in the county, beating Castelli by a 12,716 to 5,796 margin.  

Since her election to the House in 2014, Stefanik has steadily climbed the ranks in the Republican Party and is currently the third-ranked House Republican.

Last year, Stefanik was elected by her House GOP colleagues to serve as the Chair of the House Republican Conference.

In her speech late Tuesday night, Stefanik expressed confidence that the Republican Party would reclaim the majority in the House of Representatives after the final ballots are counted in the midterm elections.

“You all know that our country is in crisis under single-party, far-left Democrat rule in both Washington and Albany,” she told the crowd. “Help is on the way. House Republicans have earned back the majority. We will fulfill our commitment to the American people, which is our agenda for the first 100 days — an economy that’s strong, reining in the trillions of dollars of reckless spending to get this historic inflation under control. Unleashing American energy independence. We are going to fight for a nation that’s safe by supporting our law enforcement and proudly backing the blue.”

Flanked by her husband, Matt Manda, and young son Sam, Stefanik said that House Republicans would pass a parents’ bill of rights.

Stefanik, 38, serves as a member of the House Armed Services Committee, the Committee on Education and Labor, and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

The 21st district comprises all of Fulton county and includes portions of Saratoga County.

Fulton County Sheriff Richard Giardino said on Tuesday night that he believes Stefanik has capably represented the district through her first four terms.

“I believe that the constituents in her district feel that she’s responsive to their needs,” Giardino said at the Glens Falls party. “She’s very good with the veterans and she’s very good with law enforcement. A lot of people are not aware of the fact that she’s sponsored and participated in a lot of legislation for both mental health and suicides for veterans and law enforcement.”

Giardino said that Stefanik’s position of power in the House GOP conference can be beneficial to her district. 

“Right now, at her age, and from being from a rural district like ours, it’s something to have someone that high up in the ranks,” he said. “If she flips to the majority party, she will have that much more political power legislatively and power as a representative. I think she represents the majority of the views of the people in the district.”

Johnstown Town Councilman Timothy Rizzo said that he thinks Stefanik’s high rank in the conference could be more even potent nationally than locally.

“I don’t think rank holds a lot for your region,” Rizzo said at the Stefanik rally. “I think the value of what you can do is share her ideas with other committee members where she’s going to be in Congress. If you get the support of everybody, it’s a team effort. When you have a good team, rank doesn’t matter. We kind of stress that in the Town of Johnstown and we’ve been doing a lot of positive things. Rank might matter in Washington, but at local levels it might not. But cohesiveness and working together is most important.”

Assemblyman Matt Simpson said that Stefanik has been up to the challenge to represent a sprawling district that includes part of 12 counties. 

“I think over her prior four terms, she’s worked tirelessly on behalf of our district,” Simpson said at the Tuesday victory party. “She’s the hardest-working member I know in Congress.”

By Ted Remsnyder

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