Stefanik will object to certifying 2020 election

Rep. Elise M. Stefanik, R-Schuylerville, speaks after declaring victory over Democratic challenger Tedra L. Cobb on election night in Glens Falls. Christopher Lenney/Watertown Daily Times

As the dust settles on the 2020 general election, Republicans are on track to bring in a record number of women to Congress for their party.

After a term with just 13 Republican women in the House — the lowest number in years — there are now at least 28 new or returning Republican women headed to the Capitol. There are also at least eight Republican women headed to the Senate.

Republican Congresswoman Elise M. Stefanik, R-Schuylerville, who represents New York’s 21st Congressional District, has been given much credit for her role in helping those women win their elections with her political action committee E-PAC, or Elevate PAC. Of the 28 first-time House candidates endorsed by E-PAC, 16 won their races this year, with three races yet to be called.

“This is the success story of the 2020 election,” Rep. Stefanik said during an interview Monday. “(The year) 2020 has widely been hailed as the year of the Republican woman.”

That’s an about-face from 2018, when Republicans were headed into the new Congress with the lowest number of women in their caucus since the 1980s. That the party was at a low point in female representation worried Rep. Stefanik and prompted her to launch E-PAC that year.

She faced some pushback from other members of her party. When she first launched E-PAC, then-head of the official Republican Congressional Recruitment Committee Rep. Thomas E. Emmer Jr., R-Minn., told political news site Roll Call he believed E-PAC’s strategy of getting involved in primary races was a mistake. Rep. Stefanik fired back, tweeting on Dec. 4, 2018: “I wasn’t asking for permission.”

Rep. Emmer’s position wasn’t universal in the party. Rep. Stefanik said Republican leaders like House Minority Whip Rep. Steve J. Scalise, R-La., and House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin O. McCarthy, R-Calif., were early supporters of E-PAC, and saw the problems the party was having with female candidates early on.

Rep. Stefanik said she thinks this year proves the success of E-PAC and its model of supporting candidates in both primary and general elections. On each endorsee, E-PAC gave the maximum dollar donation for both the primary and general elections: $5,000 for the primary and $5,000 for the general.

Not only did E-PAC donate money itself to each candidate, but the organization also capitalized on donor lists developed by Rep. Stefanik’s own campaign for re-election.

“What was interesting for me this past cycle was, as the impeachment coverage was on a national level, I was able to build one of the most in-depth small-dollar donor lists of any member in Congress, and we were able to utilize that grassroots support nationally,” Rep. Stefanik said.

Rep. Stefanik said the E-PAC team would send out messages to that donor list, calling attention to the other Republican women on other tickets across the nation, and was able to raise more than $1 million in small-dollar donations to E-PAC endorsed candidates.

Besides financial support, Rep. Stefanik and E-PAC also offered counseling and campaign assistance to endorsees, sharing tips on how to run a successful campaign.

“While it’s informal, sometimes the most important part of our program is helping answer questions, helping think through campaign strategy, helping make sure they have a strong team,” she said. “Just answering the basic questions that candidates, especially first-time candidates have as they work through what was a very tumultuous election cycle.”

When selecting candidates to endorse, Rep. Stefanik said E-PAC uses a merit-based system. Candidates must meet specific metrics, which includes raising at least $250,000 in the first quarter after announcing their candidacy.

“The reason why that’s important is I want to see how strong they will be as candidates in building their support and donor base at the grassroots level before making that investment,” she said.

Rep. Stefanik noted raising the initial funds for a campaign is often the hardest step in running, and races oftentimes require millions of dollars for a candidate to be competitive.

She said a strong campaign team is also a requirement before a candidate can be endorsed by E-PAC. Basic details like budget, field operations, digital infrastructure, communication methods, voter data collection and analysis should be nailed down before a candidate can be seriously considered for endorsement and support.

“I want candidates to know what the strategy is and the pathway to victory,” she said. “I think that early work is important for candidates to be able to win ultimately in the general election.”

Rep. Stefanik said she also speaks to potential endorsees, to get a sense of their mission, their drive and their reason for running. After meeting with hundreds of candidates and having spent nearly six years in office herself, Rep. Stefanik said she thinks she’s an excellent judge of who is best suited to elective office, and most likely to win their race.

“I’ve met with hundreds and hundreds of candidates, and it’s pretty clear to me which candidates have a fire in their belly and are driven by their mission to serve their community, to focus on public service and represent their constituents,” she said.

Rep. Stefanik said she believes her strict vetting process is part of the reason so many E-PAC endorsees have gone on to win their races this year. Even with all the support E-PAC provides its endorsees, Rep. Stefanik is clear in saying it’s the candidates who deserve credit for their wins.

“The number one reason why these candidates won is the candidates themselves,” she said. “They ran exceptional races that were focused on their districts, and they told their personal stories in very compelling ways.”

While some in the Republican Party may have doubted E-PAC in 2018, Rep. Stefanik said she thinks all doubts have now been put aside.

“I think success creates more success, so I think the fact that the model worked this cycle means that there’s a lot more support and understanding,” she said.

Rep. Stefanik said she believes the successes for Republican women this year match a wider move by the party to become more reflective of the demographics of the country at large. She noted how there are now more veterans, African-Americans, Hispanic people and people whose families immigrated from formerly Communist countries in the Republican congressional delegation this term.

She said she hopes the increased number of women in the party will allow the Republican Party to be even more effective in Congress.

“I have found that women are very effective legislators and policymakers and are very focused on serving their constituents and their districts,” she said. “I think each one of these women, future members of Congress, are going to be effective legislators and policymakers on their committees.”

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(21) comments


Yesterday, on Newsmax, Elise Stefanik finally commented on the presidential election. "I support the continued effort by the Trump campaign to make sure every legal ballot and only legal ballots and legal votes are counted." She said she had concern about "irregularities," including the election software used, the use of mail-in ballots and "people who are dead casting ballots." That was yesterday, not two weeks ago! She continues to promulgate conspiracies and myths when many courageous and upright Republicans have set the record straight, particularly in light of the threats endured by politicians around the country who are associated with the election process and the potential for violence. Why isn't our congresswoman among them? It's a disgrace that she is not among them, and her 21st district supporters are disgraceful enablers.

hermit thrush

truly, truly disgraceful. the voters of ny21 have made their voice clear. the kids and grandkids of said voters are probably not going to look so kindly on it.


Sadly our Rep has been doing nothing except playing politics over the governor. She and pretty much every other elected Republican official is standing by while Trump and his minions continue to push Stop the Steal nonsense just so they can continue to fundraise off from it. Probably a majority of those women Elise helped to elect are actively pushing this. It’s almost surprising at this point that she isn’t.

I’d urge anyone to search the comments by Gabriel Sterling yesterday. He’s a staunch Republican in Georgia. Supports Loeffler and Perdue. Watch a video of his comments. He’s angry and should be. He’s angry about DiGenova calling for Chris Krebs to be shot. And about a 20 year old tech worker in Georgia for Dominion getting death threats over this nonsense.

After the terrorists In Michigan with their plot to kidnap, put on trial and execute the governor it’s not too much of a stretch to imagine people associated with the election being killed. At the end of the day they would just be dying for the latest Trump grift.

hermit thrush

likewise this video from erick erickson about the crazy conspiracy theorizing around the georgia election is quite good. (personally i kind of hate videos since reading is much faster, but i know not everyone feels the same way.)


We are so lucky to have her in our district. She has done an excellent job.

hermit thrush

yes, it was an excellent job when, during the impeachment hearings, she pretended to be totally outraged at not being allowed to speak even though it was against the rules for her to speak at the time and she knew it. unless you work in hollywood, you don't come across people with that kind of acting chops every day.


Don't only issue with her is refusing to push back on most of the GOP... although a few, now seeing it's over, are abandoning ship...


Unfortunately for her I think she’s going to find that there’s a glass ceiling in the Republican Party. That thinking is evidenced in the story. It’s not going to get better as Trump’s party. Look at how many women in powerful roles around him. You’ll only need one hand and that’s including Ivanka.

Charlie McGrath

Saying anything good about Republican women is blasphemy. Only Democrat women should be applauded because they are Democrats.

hermit thrush

what ridiculous nonsense. what a poor, pathetic, victimized party you belong to.


NNY is very fortunate to have Elise as their Representative. She has proven herself over and over as a dedicated, loyal, true representative of all.


Alex Gault, I only want to reach you. Just you.

Read about the caliber and ideology of the GOP women headed to Washington thanks to Elise Stefanik. Read how Stefanik's women-project over the last four years has been instrumental in turning the Republican party into one of extremism. Both are likely going over the heads of your bosses at the Times. You have a good head. Inform it.


Alex, this is the typical ploy by the zeitgeist lib. Dont look at the shiny object. They already have 99% of the press in the liberal bag. Dont make it 100.

hermit thrush

you have written a lot of whacked [bleep] on this website but actually set a new record for derangement. when you have the top-rated cable news network, the top-circulation newspaper, all of talk radio, and the most popular social media website in your corner, then that makes for a huge huge swath of the overall media in the bag for you. so bananas you put chiquita out of business.


Zeitgeist, your link got a 404, but it was worth doing the search to find the article. Dollars to donuts Pitbull didn’t before he responded. Loved this quote from it.

As the president is forced to leave, spitting and screaming, his toxic, pugilistic brand of politics will live on in those women: paranoid conspiracists, partisan firebrands, and ardent Trump loyalists — a lot more Sarah Palin, and a lot less Margaret Chase Smith.

Don’t know if Elise will be part of the Q caucus, but it looks like they’ve got enough conspiracists for one just among these new hires.

Also this about Barbara Bollier in Kansas.

It took one of her Republican colleagues comparing Bollier to the (*German N-word,little guy with Chaplin mustache) doctor on the floor of the state senate to really consider switching parties. “And no one calls him out. No one says, ‘This is not the decorum of a senator in Kansas,’” she recalled.

These women got elected by attaching themselves to the lunacy of Trump. Maybe that’s a good long term strategy. If it is the country is in serious trouble.

*The words not allowed by moderation are really bizarre.


Maybe that’s a good long term strategy.

I’d like to think not. All cults die out at some point. It’s usually not a soft landing for those caught up in it either.

Make Enlightenment Thinking Great Again!


My question is does she put the country ahead of her politics?


Talking pure Democrat. No opposing viewpoints or other voices allowed. The mob will ensure that, either in the streets or in the halls of congress.

hermit thrush

pure lunacy.


Resoundingly yes. You are just clanging a bell with this "Elise puts her ambition ahead of the country" bull.

hermit thrush

the soldiers with russian bounties on their heads might have a different take.

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