Written by James W. Wright in the Watertown Daily Times on October 11, 2020

In the north country, there is no stronger or more effective advocate for Fort Drum than U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik. Since her very first day in office, Elise has consistently delivered the most significant wins for Fort Drum — over and over again.

After serving the north country for more than three decades, I know firsthand just how critical Fort Drum’s success is to our local economy: Its troops and employees generate more than $1 billion for our region every year. And since day one, Elise has proven to us that she understands exactly how important Fort Drum is to our community, and she has never relented in her fight to protect the base and its brave 10th Mountain Division.

Back in 2015, Elise was the one who protected Fort Drum from the disastrous defense cuts that would have devastated our base, our national security and our local economy. In the face of the Obama-Biden administration’s threat of crippling sequestration, Elise worked across party lines and led the entire New York congressional delegation to rally behind Fort Drum. Then she went to D.C. and fought for us on the House floor, not resting until and she saved the base. But she didn’t stop there.

After Elise saved Fort Drum from attempts to slash its funding, she went on to increase the base’s funding and to deliver countless other wins for our troops, military families and veterans.

In 2018, Rep. Stefanik even brought President Donald Trump to Fort Drum to sign into law the largest pay raise for our troops in nearly a decade, which Elise helped secure in Congress. She then secured Fort Drum as our nation’s preferred site for an East Coast Missile Defense System, which would bolster our national defense and bring thousands of new jobs to our region.

There is no one fighting harder for Fort Drum, and there is not a better advocate in Congress for our national defense. Elise Stefanik is the fighter we need defending the brave men and women who defend our homeland.

When it comes to Fort Drum and our national defense, Elise Stefanik is the only choice. That’s why I am so proud to support her in this election: Because a victory for Elise is a victory for Fort Drum and for the entire north country.

James W. Wright


The writer previously represented the 48th District in the state Senate.

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