Elise M. Stefanik, the Republican and Conservative Party nominee in the race for New York’s 21st Congressional District, has advanced to the top tier of the National Republican Congressional Committee’s “Young Guns” program, which provides fundraising assistance to Republican challengers who reach certain campaign benchmarks.
Ms. Stefanik graduated from Harvard in 2006. She worked in the George W. Bush White House on the Domestic Policy Council staff and in the Chief of Staff’s office from 2006 to 2009.
Following her experience with the executive branch, Ms. Stefanik worked as policy director on Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s presidential campaign, as policy director of the 2012 Republican National Platform and as director of debate prep for Republican Vice Presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis.
Mr. Ryan endorsed Ms. Stefanik in January and campaigned with her in Watertown in early June.
Mr. Ryan was one of the founders of The Young Guns program, along with Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va., and Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.
Ms. Stefanik lives in Willsboro and works as a sales representative at her family’s business, Premium Plywood Products, which is based in Albany County.
“Our job as a committee is to help elect Republicans to office that will serve as a check and balance on the Obama administration,” said NRCC Chairman Greg Walden in a news release. “Elise has outlined conservative principles that will grow jobs, stop the harmful effects of ObamaCare, and get Washington’s spending under control. Elise has met a series of rigorous goals that will put her in a position to win on Election Day.”
Ms. Stefanik won a decisive primary election victory over rival Republican Matthew A. Doheny, an investment fund manager from Watertown. Mr. Doheny remains on the Independence Party line.
In 2012 and 2010, Mr. Doheny was a member of the NRCC’s Young Guns program. Both he and Ms. Stefanik were listed as “On the Radar” — the first step in the program — prior to the primary.
Ms. Stefanik will face Democrat Aaron G. Woolf, a documentary filmmaker with a home in Essex County, and Green Party candidate Matthew J. Funiciello, a bakery and restaurant owner from Glens Falls, in November.