Stefanik wins 5th term: What’s next for the North Country?
BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - New York Congresswoman Elise Stefanik won her fifth term Tuesday night. Our Rachel Mann caught up with her and a SUNY Plattsburgh political analyst to talk about what’s next.
Stefanik’s campaign included a lot of talk about ousting top Democrats, like Nancy Pelosi and protecting parents’ rights. She also used her campaign to boost up other New York Republicans, who did the same for her. SUNY Plattsburgh professor of political science Harvey Schantz talked about how this may have helped her. “It’s a very good party strategy when members of the same party campaign for each other. In various ways, the offices up for election interlock,” Schantz said.
Throughout her campaign, Stefanik promoted other New York Republicans, including state Sen. Dan Stec, who also won his race on Tuesday. Stefanik’s hope was to bring a red wave to New York. “We have a lot of work at hand as we’ve earned back a majority,” she said. “Our commitment to America is a lot of work on a lot of really important issues.”
“We’re going to keep working on the stuff I campaigned on. I want to see us more competitively economically,” Stec said. “I think we need to address crime issues in the state. I’m going to continue to address our Second Amendment right.”
Stefanik’s opponent Matt Castelli says her extremism is what pushed him to run. He lost by an 18-point margin. “I celebrate that we participated in a free and fair election,” he said in his concession speech.
Now, Stefanik enters her fifth term with big promises. “We have to unleash American energy independence to lower the price of gas and to lower the price of home heating,” she said. “Then we have to stand up for our constitutional liberties, like the Second Amendment rights which are so important in this country and specifically in this district.”
But how easy will it be for her to carry out these promises? While it’s likely Republicans will control the House, legislation passed there will still need to make it through the Senate and the White House. “There is no doubt that when you have divided party government you have some gridlock in D.C.,” Schantz said. “Major pieces of legislation will not go through very easily.”
At her victory party, Stefanik was asked if she had plans to make an even bigger run in 2024. She says she has no intention of making any major announcements and is focused on the GOP House Committee chair vote next week.
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