Meet Elise Stefanik, the Candidate Who Could Become the Youngest Woman in Congress

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SHAFAQNA – She’s been called the new “poster candidate” of the Republican Party, and this weekend New York congressional candidate Elise Stefanik was selected by House Speaker John Boehner to deliver the GOP’s weekly address.

“One month from today, all Americans face a clear choice: stick with the status quo of more government, more spending, and higher taxes or choose a new direction of new ideas to unleash job creation and economic growth,” she said.

 

A spokesman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee said Stefanik was “a puppet for John Boehner and the far right wing.”

Stefanik is not only seeking to represent New York’s 21st Congressional District, but also help the Republican Party reach a demographic that tends to vote Democratic: young women. If she wins in November, Stefanik, 30, would be the youngest woman in Congress.

Republicans are particularly eager to win back the district, which they held for a century until they lost it five years ago. Stefanik’s Democratic opponent, Aaron Woolf, is a multimillionaire documentary filmmaker who spent most of his adult life outside of the district and has been able to pour some of his own money into the campaign.

For those curious about the young U.S. House hopeful, here are 10 facts about her:

1. She’s a Small Businesswoman

Elise Stefanik previously worked for Premium Plywood Products, Inc., her family’s company founded in upstate New York more than 20 years ago. There she focused on North Country sales, marketing and management.

2. She Has a Degree From Harvard

Stefanik graduated with honors from Harvard University in 2006. She was also one of three women honored with the Women’s Leadership Award. As the first of her immediate family to graduate from college, Stefanik spent her time at the university serving on the student Advisory Committee of Harvard’s Institute of Politics and contributed to The Harvard Crimson as an editorial editor, writing pieces on everything from matters of love to criticism of student protesters (the headline: “Political Vomit”).

3. Though She’s Young, She’s No Stranger to D.C.

Even at 30 years old, Stefanik is no newcomer to politics. She was an aide in the final years of the Bush administration and helped work on Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign. Stefanik cites the 2012 race as her inspiration for making the transition from operative to politician.

4. She’s a Seasoned Debater

As the former Director of Vice Presidential Debate Prep to Paul Ryan, Stefanik is likely to come prepared to the three debates scheduled before Election Day.

5. She’s a Proud Instagrammer

Stefanik not only understands the importance of social media, but knows how to use it. With vibrant Twitter and Instagram accounts, Stefanik shares the details of her campaign with her supporters. Stefanik tweeted early on that she was the first candidate to Instagram her Congressional filing.

First candidate to #Instagram my official Congressional filing! Visit www.EliseforCongress.com !

View on Instagram

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6. She’s Not Afraid to Get Her Hands Dirty

She posts Instagrams asking for recommendations on hikes in the Adirondacks — “in between parades of course” she comments. And she participated in a milking contest at the Essex County Fair.

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7. Stefanik Is an Avid Reader

She posts images of books she reads along the campaign trail.

This has been on my to-do reading list from high school and after attending the bicentennial of the Battle of Plattsburgh Reenactment, I decided to get started. #NY21

View on Instagram

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8. She, Too, Is a Fan of the Fall Pumpkin Craze

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9. Though She Says She’s Single, She Has a Sweetheart

She says it’s her dog, Nala.

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10. Stefanik Has a Double-Digit Lead

A poll, released Oct. 2 by WWNY-7 News and the Siena Research Institute, found that Stefanik leads Woolf by a 46 percent to 33 percent margin. Two-thirds of Republicans — 68 percent — said they support Stefanik. Of Democratic voters, 56 percent say they side with Woolf. Despite her current lead, the race remains a virtual tie among independent voters, 39 percent of which say they will stand with the GOP candidate and 38 percent sticking by her Democratic opponent.

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