Capital Region

Stefanik makes Time Next 100 list

Former House speaker Paul Ryan praises North Country congresswoman
U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik answers questions from constituents during at Johnstown Senior Center on Oct. 10.
U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik answers questions from constituents during at Johnstown Senior Center on Oct. 10.

21st CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT — U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik, who played a prominent role among Republicans in Wednesday’s impeachment hearing, has been named in Time magazine’s 100 Next List of next-generation leaders.

The 35-year-old, third-term congresswoman, who represents a North Country district running from Saratoga and Fulton counties to the Canadian border, received a glowing appraisal in the magazine from former House speaker Paul Ryan, for whom Stefanik worked during his vice presidential campaign in 2012.

“Elise has built a record as an authentic, respected voice for ideas and common sense,” Ryan wrote in the list released on Wednesday, which highlights young leaders in a variety of fields, including politics.

“Ever since I first met Elise — when she was assigned to be director of debate prep during my run for vice president — she has stood out for her intellect and work ethic,” Ryan wrote.

Stefanik, R-Schuylerville, has also formed a political action committee devoted to promoting Republican women’s candidacies, in explicit acknowledgement that the GOP has few women representatives in Congress. On Tuesday night, Stefanik announced that $200,000 was being distributed through the PAC to female candidates running for political office in 2020.

“She has built an organization to recruit more women to run for office in a party that needs more inclusivity,” wrote Ryan, who retired from Congress in 2018. “This is a fight she has taken on personally and passionately.”

The honor for Stefanik came out the same day as she played an active role, as a minority member of the House Intelligence Committee, in the Republicans’ defense of President Donald J. Trump during an impeachment investigation.

As Wednesday’s hearing started, she led an unsuccessful parliamentary call for committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-California, to approve a list of witnesses Republicans would like to call. She also pressed two State Department witnesses to acknowledge that even if Trump pressed Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate a political rival, no such investigation occurred, and military aid to Ukraine was eventually released.

She was among the speakers at the Republicans’ press conference after the hearing concluded.

Stefanik faces a 2020 challenge from Tedra Cobb of Canton, the same Democrat she defeated in the 2018 election.

Reach Gazette reporter Stephen Williams at 518-395-3086, [email protected] or @gazettesteve on Twitter.

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