Over the past several months, Congresswoman Elise Stefanik has distinguished herself on the national stage.
But her effectiveness as a representative in the sprawling 21st Congressional District is due to the fact that she’s kept her priorities and efforts focused on improving the lives and fortunes of her constituents.
Whether it’s standing up to help secure the future of the military base and its 16,000 jobs at Fort Drum, or fighting to establish and expand international markets for dairy farmers and other businesses, or advocating on behalf of veterans to recover benefits, or advocating on behalf of the environment, Stefanik has never lost sight of who she represents.
As a Republican in a Democrat-controlled House of Representatives and who four years ago served under a Democratic president, Stefanik has managed to cross the political aisle to get things done.
Under President Trump, for whom she’s become a staunchly loyal supporter and advocate, she’s agreed with him when it would help the district.
But demonstrating her independence, she’s disagreed with him on such issues as tariffs on aluminum imports from Canada and other restrictive immigration policies when the president’s policies would have hurt her constituents.
Earlier this year, she was ranked by the Lugar Center as the 14th most bipartisan member of the 435 members of the House, putting her in the top 5% of her colleagues.
That’s no small feat in this highly charged partisan atmosphere. And it’s yet another demonstration of how Stefanik puts her constituents over politics.
Her record on environmental issues, based on a ranking by the League of Conservation Voters, is middle-of-the-road for environmentalists but high by Republican standards. The League noted her pro-environment votes on such important Adirondack issues as pollution from coal plants, the impacts of carbon dioxide pollution and assessing the damage from climate change. She could have pushed back harder on the president’s many environmental rollbacks, something we hope she does in a fourth term.
Her opponent for the second election in a row is Democrat Tedra Cobb, a former St. Lawrence County legislator and healthcare professional. Cobb has matured as a candidate and has modified past positions, such as now supporting a public option over her past Medicare for All position.
But she hasn’t established herself as a vigorous candidate who would serve the residents of the district any better than Stefanik has done.
For those reasons and more, Rep. Elise Stefanik has earned another term in Congress.