Elise Stefanik

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Elise Stefanik
Elise Stefanik, 115th official photo.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 21st district
Assumed office
January 3, 2015
Preceded by Bill Owens
Personal details
Born (1984-07-02) July 2, 1984 (age 32)
Albany, New York, U.S.
Political party Republican
Residence Willsboro, New York, U.S.
Education Harvard University (BA)
Website House website

Elise Marie Stefanik /stəˈfɑːnk/ (born July 2, 1984) is an American politician from the state of New York. She is a member of the Republican Party and a member of the United States House of Representatives in New York's 21st congressional district.[1] She is the youngest woman ever elected to Congress, elected in 2014 at age 30.[2][3][4]

Early life and career[edit]

Stefanik was born in Albany, New York in 1984. Her parents, Melanie and Ken Stefanik, own a plywood business in the Albany area.[5] She attended the Albany Academy for Girls and Harvard University (class of 2006).[6][7][8][clarification needed]

While at Harvard she was awarded the Women's Leadership Award.[9][10] After graduating from Harvard, she joined the administration of President George W. Bush,[11] working on the Domestic Policy Council.[12]

She also worked in the office of the White House Chief of Staff for Bush's second deputy chief of staff, Joshua Bolten.[7][12] She has worked as communications director for the Foreign Policy Initiative and as the policy director for former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty during his 2012 presidential campaign.[7]

Stefanik managed Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan’s debate preparation as he ran for Vice President of the United States in the 2012 general election.[7][11][13] Following the Romney-Ryan loss in the 2012 presidential election, she returned to upstate New York to join her parents' wholesale plywood business, located in Guilderland Center.[7][8]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]


Stefanik's freshman portrait during the 114th Congressional session


In 2013, Stefanik declared her candidacy in the 2014 election for the United States House of Representatives in New York's 21st congressional district. The district and its predecessors had been in Republican hands for 136 years before Democrat Bill Owens won a 2009 special election and subsequently won re-election in 2010 and 2012. In 2014, Owens opted not to seek reelection following a re-districting.

Stefanik defeated Matt Doheny in the Republican primary election 61 to 39 percent,[14] She faced Aaron Woolf, the Democratic Party nominee, and Matt Funiciello, the Green Party nominee, in the general election on November 4.[11] Stefanik defeated Woolf and Funiciello 55.2% to 33.5% and 10.6% respectively, becoming the youngest woman ever elected to Congress.[13][15][a]


Stefanik ran for re-election in 2016. She ran unopposed in the Republican primary. Stefanik supported Donald Trump for president after he won the 2016 Republican presidential primaries.[16]

She faced Democrat Mike Derrick and Green Party candidate Matt Funiciello in the general election.[17][18]

She won re-election with 63 percent of the vote, while Derrick (D) received 27.8% and Funiciello (G) received 4.3% of the vote.[19]


In January 2015, Stefanik was appointed to the House Armed Services Committee.[20] She was elected by the freshman Representatives in the 114th Congress to serve as the Freshman Representative to the Policy Committee.[21]

In February 2015, she was appointed vice chairwoman of the House Armed Services Committee’s Subcommittee on Readiness.[22]

Committee assignments[edit]

Policy positions[edit]

Stefanik was ranked as the 31st most bipartisan member of the U.S. House of Representatives during the 114th United States Congress (and the sixth most bipartisan member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New York) in the Bipartisan Index created by The Lugar Center and the McCourt School of Public Policy that ranks members of the United States Congress by their degree of bipartisanship (by measuring the frequency each member's bills attract co-sponsors from the opposite party and each member's co-sponsorship of bills by members of the opposite party).[23]


On May 4, 2017, Stefanik voted in favor of repealing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and passing the American Health Care Act.[24][25] Following a televised Community Forum on May 8th, 2017 hosted by Mountain Lake PBS,[26] Stefanik represented herself as having been unfairly criticized for her vote for AHCA.[27][28] She defended her vote in a post on Medium, "Setting the Record Straight on the American Health Care Act."[29][30] Her claims about the effects of the AHCA have been disputed by journalists' fact-checking from the Glens Falls Post-Star,[31] North Country Public Radio,[32] and the Albany Times Union.[33] Following the constituent backlash over Stefanik's AHCA vote, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee added Stefanik to their list of targeted 2018 House races.[34]

She is a co-sponsor of the Preserving Employee Wellness Programs Act (H.R. 1313; 115th Congress) – legislation that, among other things, eliminates the genetic privacy protections of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (Public Law 110–233) and which allows companies to require employees to undergo genetic testing or risk paying a penalty of thousands of dollars, and would let employers see that genetic and other health information.[35]


Stefanik voted in favor of the Keystone Pipeline.[36] Stefanik opposed the 2013 sequestration cuts to the federal U.S. military budget, specifically its effect on Fort Drum in Watertown, New York.[36]


She described the decision by the Trump administration to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement as "misguided".[37]

National security[edit]

Stefanik opposed President Donald Trump's 2017 executive order to temporarily curtail immigration from seven designated countries until better screening methods are devised.[38]

Personal life[edit]

Stefanik claims residency in Willsboro, New York.[39][40] She owns a minority interest in a townhouse near Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., valued at $1.3 million.[41]

She has been in a long-term relationship with Matthew Manda from Lawrence, Kansas, spokesman for the Independent Journal Review (best known for being the only media outlet allowed access to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on his first trip to Asia)[42]. The couple met in Washington in 2012 and have been engaged since August 27, publicly announcing their engagement on October 27, 2016.[43] Manda is also Director of Communications for the political consulting firm IMGE[44], a firm retained by Stefanik's campaign.[45] Both Independent Journal Review and IMGE are divisions of Media Group of America.[46][47]

Electoral history[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives election, 2014: New York's 21st district
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Elise Stefanik 96,226 53.0 +7.7
Democratic Aaron G. Woolf 53,140 29.3 -17.8
Green Matthew J. Funiciello 19,238 10.6 +9.0
Majority 43,086 23.7 +21.9
Turnout 181,558 100.0 -32.5
U.S. House of Representatives election, 2016: New York's 21st district
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Elise Stefanik 164,212 66.1 +13.1
Democratic Mike Derrick 72,637 29.3 0
Green Matthew Funiciello 11,394 4.6 -6.0
Turnout 248,243 100.0 26.9

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Stefanik won the election at age 30. Previously the youngest woman to win an election to Congress was Elizabeth Holtzman, who was 31 when first elected in 1973.[15]


  1. ^ Jaffe, Alexandra (September 23, 2014). "GOP chances of flipping Rep. Owens' seat grow". The Hill. Washington, D.C. Retrieved October 5, 2014. 
  2. ^ "The Insiders' Outsider". The Weekly Standard. Retrieved September 30, 2014. 
  3. ^ Lachman, Samantha. "Elise Stefanik May Become Congress' Youngest Woman Ever". Huffington Post. Retrieved September 30, 2014. 
  4. ^ LoGiurato, Brett (November 5, 2014). "Elise Stefanik Wins, Now Youngest Member Of Congress". Business Insider. Retrieved November 6, 2014. 
  5. ^ LoTemplio, Joe (October 6, 2014). "Stefanik delivers national radio address". Press-Republican. Plattsburgh, New York. Retrieved October 9, 2014. 
  6. ^ "NYCFPAC Endorses Elise Stefanik for Congress in New York’s 21st Congressional District". New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms Political Action Committee (NYCFPAC). Lima, New York. Archived from the original on February 16, 2015. Retrieved February 15, 2015. 
  7. ^ a b c d e Jamie Weinstein. "Elise Stefanik wants to go to Congress". The Daily Caller. Retrieved June 25, 2014. 
  8. ^ a b "Congressional challengers line up » Sunday". Press-Republican. August 18, 2013. Retrieved June 25, 2014. 
  9. ^ Toczauer, Nicole (October 4, 2014). "Meet Elise Stefanik, the Candidate Who Could Become the Youngest Woman in Congress". ABC News. New York. Retrieved October 4, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Harvard Gazette Archives". Harvard University Gazette. Cambridge, Massachusetts. Retrieved October 5, 2014. 
  11. ^ a b c "Elise Stefanik declared winner of GOP primary in NY-21". syracuse.com. Retrieved June 25, 2014. 
  12. ^ a b Hagerty, Meg (May 4, 2014). "Stefanik's campaign ramping up". Glens Falls Post-Star. Glens Falls, New York. Retrieved October 5, 2014. 
  13. ^ a b Center, Shira T. How Elise Stefanik Became the Youngest Woman Ever Elected to Congress, Roll Call, November 12, 2014.
  14. ^ New York – Summary Vote Results, Associated Press, June 25, 2014
  15. ^ a b ABC News. "Elise Stefanik, the Youngest Woman Ever Elected to Congress – ABC News". ABC News. Retrieved November 6, 2014. 
  16. ^ NCPR News (July 5, 2016). "Rep. Elise Stefanik will support Trump in presidential election". North Country Public Radio. Retrieved August 25, 2016. 
  17. ^ Harding, Robert (May 16, 2016). "GOP pounces after Democrats don't elevate Mike Derrick, NY-21 candidate". The Citizen. Retrieved May 24, 2016. 
  18. ^ "NY21 Can Matt Funiciello Build a Bernie Style Movement in the North Country". North Country Public Radio. Retrieved June 29, 2016. 
  19. ^ Morelli, Marie (November 8, 2016). "Elise Stefanik wins re-election to Congress representing North Country". Syracuse.com. Retrieved November 9, 2016. 
  20. ^ Earle, Geoff (January 7, 2015). "Youngest-ever congresswoman stands out on first day in office". New York Post. New York, New York. Retrieved January 7, 2015. 
  21. ^ "Biography". Elise Stefanik's Congressional Website. Washington, D.C. Retrieved January 16, 2015. 
  22. ^ Flatley, Daniel; White, Perry (February 5, 2015). "Stefanik named to leadership post on subcommittee". Watertown Daily Times. Watertown, New York. Retrieved June 23, 2015. Military readiness, training, logistics and maintenance issues and programs, military construction, installations and family housing issues, and the BRAC process are all part of the subcommittee’s purview. 
  23. ^ The Lugar Center - McCourt School Bipartisan Index (PDF), The Lugar Center, March 7, 2016, retrieved April 30, 2017 
  24. ^ "How the House voted to pass the GOP health-care bill". Washington Post. Retrieved 2017-05-04. 
  25. ^ Staff, C.N.N. "How every member voted on health care bill". CNN. Retrieved 2017-05-04. 
  26. ^ Community Forum with Elise Stefanik, Mountain Lake PBS. The event took place on May 8th and was broadcast May 10th, 2017.
  27. ^ Stefanik faces an angry, emotional crowd at Plattsburgh forum by Zach Hirsch, NCPR, 5/9/17.
  28. ^ Stefanik gets an earful on health care at town hallby Josepha Velasquez and Dan Goldenberg. Politico, 05/08/2017.
  29. ^ Setting the Record Straight on the American Health Care Act by Elise Stefanik, Medium, May 15, 2017.
  30. ^ Stefanik trades blows with critics by Joe Lotempolio, Adirondack Daily Enterprise, May 18, 2017.
  31. ^ Looking closer at Stefanik's health care answers by Kathleen Phalen Tomaselli, Post Star, May 10, 2017.
  32. ^ Fact check: Do Rep. Stefanik's claims on healthcare hold up? by Lauren Rosenthal, NCPR, May 16, 2017.
  33. ^ Experts skewer Stefanik stance by Dan Freedman, Times Union, May 15, 2017
  34. ^ DCCC targets Stefanik by Maury Thompson, Post-Star, May 22, 2017.
  35. ^ ASHG Opposes H.R.1313, the Preserving Employee Wellness Programs Act Bill Would Undermine Genetic Privacy Protections, American Society of Human Genetics, March 8, 2017.
  36. ^ a b "NY Rep. Elise Stefanik Reacts to State of the Union". Nexstar Media Group WVNY. Plattsburgh, New York. January 20, 2015. Retrieved February 5, 2015. 
  37. ^ robert.harding@lee.net, Robert Harding. "GOP Rep. Elise Stefanik: Trump withdrawing from Paris Agreement is 'misguided'". Auburn Citizen. Retrieved 2017-06-02. 
  38. ^ Timmons, Heather. "The short (but growing) list of Republican lawmakers who are publicly condemning Trump's “Muslim ban”". Quartz. 
  39. ^ NY21: Is Elise Stefanik a fresh new voice or a carpetbagger? by Brian Mann, NCPR, May 20, 2014.
  40. ^ "21st Congressional hopeful Elise Stefanik visits Saratoga County". Saratogian.com. June 19, 2014. Retrieved June 25, 2014. 
  41. ^ "New York GOP House candidate has history of late property tax payments". TheHill. April 29, 2014. Retrieved June 25, 2014. 
  42. ^ Inside the identity crisis at the Independent Journal Review, the outlet that has become a powerhouse in the Trump era by Oliver Darcy, Business Insider, March 21, 2017.
  43. ^ Woodworth, Gordon (October 27, 2016). "Elise Stefanik engaged to wed longtime boyfriend". Glens Falls Chronicle. Retrieved October 27, 2016. 
  44. ^ Matt Manda, Director of Communications, IMGE.com
  45. ^ Stefanik steps up strategy consulting expenses in 1st Quarter by Maury Thompson, Post Star, May 11, 2017.
  46. ^ Media Group of America Announces Close of First Major Investment Led by Pete Snyder and Disruptor Capital, Disruptor Capital, 1/7/2015.
  47. ^ MGA website.

External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Bill Owens
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 21st congressional district

Honorary titles
Preceded by
Patrick Murphy
Baby of the House
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Steve Russell
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Norma Torres