New York’s North Country will continue to be represented by one of the House of Representatives’ youngest members.
Voters of the 21st Congressional District on Tuesday re-elected Republican Elise Stefanik of Willboro, who became the youngest woman ever elected to Congress when she won the seat two years ago.
Stefanik defeated Democrat Mike Derrick of Peru and Green Party candidate Matt Funiciello of Glens Falls on Tuesday.
The race was one of those being monitored nationally to see whether Democrats might gain a significant number of House seats in the next Congress.
With all votes in, according to the state Board of Elections, unofficially Stefanik had 63 percent of the vote to 28 percent for Derrick. She won in all 12 of the district’s counties. Funiciello had 4.4 percent of the vote.
Stefanik declared victory at a celebration in Glens Falls, and a national GOP spokesman praised her.
“Elise has been a strong leader for the 21st District, fighting to secure millions of dollars for Fort Drum, successfully working to repeal devastating portions of Obamacare, and leading the Millennial Task Force to identify the issues that matter most to younger voters,” said Greg Walden, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee.
Stefanik, generally considered a rising star by other House Republicans, holds a seat on the House Armed Services Committee, which has given her a chance to protect Fort Drum, the Army post that is integral to the Watertown region’s economy.
Stefanik, now 32, of Willsboro, Essex County, had voter enrollment statistics on her side in the district, which stretches from Ballston Spa northward to the Canadian border.
Recent polls showed Stefanik with a substantial lead among likely voters.
Stefanik, as part of the conservative Republican majority in the House of Representatives, has highlighted her support for programs that help veterans and farmers.
Derrick, a retired Army officer, was also the subject of ads by the Republican Congressional Campaign Committee that hit him for only recently having returned to the district.
Stefanik “is a Washington insider who is dedicated to party politics,” Derrick said.
Derrick attacked Stefanik as “a Washington insider who is dedicated to party politics.”
On the campaign trail, Derrick regularly attacked Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, while Stefanik sought to avoid talking about her support of the party nominee.
Funiciello, owner of the Rock Hill Bakehouse in Glens Falls, said the nasty character of the presidential election has excluded discussion of issues important to the Green Party, including economic inequality, national health care and the environment.
The 21st Congressional District is geographically the largest in the state, stretching from Ballston Spa in Saratoga County to the Canadian border, and from Lake Champlain to Lake Ontario.
Reach Gazette reporter Stephen Williams at 395-3086, [email protected] or @gazettesteve on Twitter.