While absentee ballots remain to be counted, it appears Republican incumbent Rep. Elise M. Stefanik, R-Schuylerville, has won her bid for re-election to 21st Congressional District.

With 87% of precincts reporting by 12:30 a.m. Wednesday, Rep. Stefanik carried 64% of the vote. Her Democratic opponent, Tedra L. Cobb, had 35%.

“I am so overwhelmed, but what is important tonight is this is your Congressional seat, the people’s seat, and I am so proud to serve as the voice and the vote for the people of New York’s 21st Congressional district,” Rep. Stefanik said in her acceptance speech Tuesday night at the Queensbury Hotel in Glens Falls, which she delivered at around 11:30 p.m. “I know that every day that I do my job, I’m working on behalf of you, listening to your concerns, bringing your issues, and making sure that we have a seat at the highest level in Washington, D.C.”

Ms. Cobb and her campaign remained optimistic throughout the night, and by the time she stepped out of her campaign event at 10:30 p.m., she said she was not sure how the night would turn out. Shortly after midnight, she returned to address her supporters.

1104_wds_Tedra Cobb election night_KD-4.JPG

Tedra L. Cobb, Democratic candidate for New York’s 21st Congressional District, alongside her husband, Scott Shipley and daughter, Aida Cobb, prepares to deliver her concession speech at about 12:30 a.m. Tuesday at the Fairfield Inn & Suites in Canton. Kara Dry/Watertown Daily Times

“I want to congratulate Elise Stefanik on her victory tonight,” she said. “This campaign proved to Washington insiders that rural America and the north country isn’t just a place worth romanticizing. It isn’t just a purple dot on an electoral map, it’s not an election year bellwether, it’s not a place for cheap political language and a photo op. It’s a place worth fighting for, it’s a place of amazing strength and resolve. It’s a place worth loving, and it’s a place to call home.”

Rep. Stefanik had 156,580 votes to Ms. Cobb’s 85,880 when she declared victory. As of 12:30 a.m. Wednesday, Rep. Stefanik had 159,029 votes and Ms. Cobb had 88,133.

About 68,164 people in the district, at least 15% of all voters, submitted absentee ballots, and those will not be counted until at least Nov. 9. But it’s highly unlikely those ballots will change the outcome of this race.

The candidates were facing off in their second electoral race against one another. In 2018, Rep. Stefanik handily won over Ms. Cobb, finishing ahead by 14 points.

Stefanik cruises

Republican state Senate candidate Dan Stec, right, shares a laugh with Rep. Elise M. Stefanik, R-Schuylerville, center, and her husband Matthew Manda on Tuesday night in Glens Falls. Christopher Lenney/Watertown Daily Times

The candidates made it a deeply personal race this cycle, trading barbs on a number of issues. Rep. Stefanik repeatedly blasted Ms. Cobb for “running from her record” on issues like gun control and Medicare for All, and gave her the unflattering nickname of “Taxin’ Tedra Cobb,” which she used in nearly every campaign ad.

Ms. Cobb hit back against the congresswoman for her votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act, a move which Ms. Cobb has said would have ended health care coverage for over 64,000 residents in the district. The Democrat also repeatedly blasted Rep. Stefanik for what she termed “cowardice” over what she said was the congresswoman’s silence about the allegations that Russian intelligence put bounties on the heads of American soldiers in Afghanistan.

The two differences between the two candidates could not have been clearer on election night either. While Ms. Cobb hosted a small get together with close friends, family and campaign staff in Canton, Rep. Stefanik hosted a rally with about 100 people in Glens Falls, although she did not arrive to that event until after declaring victory at 11:15 p.m.

The candidates brought massive levels of national attention to the race. Following the impeachment trial of President Donald J. Trump in November 2019, where Rep. Stefanik fervently defended Mr. Trump and gained national attention as a Republican “rising star,” both candidates brought in unprecedented millions in campaign donations, both from within and outside of the district.

In the last financial quarter of 2019, which covered donations made during and immediately after the impeachment trial, Rep. Stefanik raised $3.2 million, while Ms. Cobb brought in $2.2 million.

Stefanik cruises

Rep. Elise M. Stefanik, R-Schuylerville, walks on stage as she declares victory on Tuesday night at the Queensbury Hotel in Glens Falls. Christopher Lenney/Watertown Daily Times

But that attention wavered, and for Ms. Cobb, faded as Election Day grew closer. While Rep. Stefanik kept up the pace, eventually reporting more than $10 million in contributions by the end, Ms. Cobb finished with only $5.3 million in contributions.

The coronavirus pandemic drastically changed how each candidate campaigned this year as well. Ms. Cobb stuck to phone calls, Zoom meetings and other digital events for most of the campaign from March to November, although she did begin holding in-person, socially distanced rallies in the weeks leading up to the election.

Rep. Stefanik pared down her own in-person events, although they never stopped. She began holding outdoor “sign waving” events, with local Republicans, and frequently distributed signs for Mr. Trump at her events as well.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

Recommended for you

(6) comments


Looks like MCM was off on his polling numbers. Even I was off, I had Stefanik at +14 not + 29...

Hmmm, who would have predicted that?


MCM lol. 1. He isn't a pollster, he is a political short term rental. 2. All "pollsters" news sources are always off. They have no purpose anymore. I don't know of anyone who even has been contacted by a Siena poll lol. 3. I said 25-30, maybe I should be pollster.

Time to move on. Time to get rid of McConnell, Pelosi, etc. Anyone of that ilk needs to go. We are a divided 50-50 country. No consensus anywhere. I don't think Trump winning actually helps the GOP. My view is they would prefer to rid of him. They kept the Senate. They gained in the House. They will gain again in two years. Then a Bongino/Nikki Haley type ticket would be a dominant force. Maybe not exactly that but something of that like. The only reason Trump is in this spot is the Virus. The blue wave was never there. It was a made up movement by main stream and social media, hollywood...people who sit behind keyboards and for some reason enjoy the divide and hate. I personally look forward to seeing what Biden can do. He hasn't done anything in his 50 years of public service, maybe he has saved it up for this. I read his tax plan. He does not have a plan for the virus save for maybe a national mask mandate which won't fly. But I say give him a chance. If the votes are legit and he is the choice...it's time to move on.

hermit thrush

aren't you the guy/gal who predicted trump would win in a landslide?


hermit thrush

biden was a fine vp and he'll be ok as president. not necessarily great, but a huge upgrade over trump.

bongino, really??? stay away from the facebook clickbait, man. it's not good for you.


She got strong support ... congrats... it's the top of the ticket that's the issue...


Four years of Trump and people are talking about Bongino as a presidential candidate? He’ll have to get through the primary first. That’ll include Junior, Ivanka and Eric, right? Has the GOP adopted Trump’s name yet?

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.