WATERTOWN — Rep. Elise Stefanik has used her campaign infrastructure to help residents of the 21st Congressional District get information on programs that may help them through the COVID-19 pandemic.
After the abrupt end to traditional campaigning processes like door-knocking and petition-signing in March, Rep. Stefanik, R-Schuylerville, turned her campaign into an information-sharing resource.
“My campaign made 150,000 check-in calls, those are not campaign or poll calls,” she said in an interview on Monday.
Rep. Stefanik said that her campaign has connected residents with county Offices for the Aging, answered questions about stimulus checks, and shared more information about Paycheck Protection Program loans for small businesses.
“It was a great way to use my strong campaign infrastructure to step up and help the community through a challenging time,” she said.
Rep. Stefanik started holding “NY-21 Working Groups,” which are listening sessions on specific topics that she said allow her to hear the perspectives and concerns of various people, since late April. In those sessions, the congresswoman has spoken with school district superintendents, BOCES leadership, nonprofit and small business leaders, as well as local elected officials, public health officials and hospital leadership.
“The results that I’ve talked about, funding for hospitals, or PPE for corrections officers, those results came from that type of direct conversation,” Rep. Stefanik said.
The congresswoman said that her focus on results is the lynchpin of her campaign for reelection, and that she sees her race against Democrat Tedra Cobb as “a choice between results and the ability to work with the president, versus far-left resistance and opposition to the president.”
Rep. Stefanik said that she believes that opposition to President Trump is out-of-touch with the priorities of most voters in the north country.
“This is a district that the president won by 14 points,” she said. “You continue to see Trump flags pop up across the district.”
The congresswoman said that she believes that her track record of bipartisanship and collaboration with the executive branch has given her the ability to deliver results for the district, and she pointed out a recent package of funding for north country hospitals, secured through the CARES Act, as an example of the results she gets.
“Because of my ability to work with the president, I announced over $125 million in direct funds, these are federal dollars, to hospitals in the region,” she said.
Rep. Stefanik said that she has always focused on bipartisanship as well, and is proud to rank in the top 5 percent of congresspeople on bipartisanship, according to the Lugar Center. She placed 14th out of 437 on the center’s 2019 bipartisan index for the House of Representatives.
Rep. Stefanik said that she is encouraged by the conversations that she has had with voters that she is giving them what they want to see in Washington.
“We feel great, the energy is on our side, and I’m going to continue focusing on delivering results every single day,” she said.