February 16, 2022 by Steve Howe

There is still a legal challenge opposing the state’s updated congressional district map, but U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-Schuylerville, took the opportunity to visit part of her new jurisdiction Tuesday.

Stefanik toured the Air Force Research Lab in Rome and the Innovare Advancement Center with a cadre of state and local officials: state Sen. Joseph Griffo, R-Rome, Assemblywoman Mariane Buttenshon, D-Marcy, Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente Jr. and Rome Mayor Jackie Izzo. The four-term congresswoman then held a press conference to discuss her visit and introduce herself to the county’s voters. 

The congresswoman, the third-highest ranking Republican in the House, was given a glowing introduction.

“Her rise and work in the House has been remarkable,” Picente said. “I couldn’t be more pleased, as my colleagues and as the mayor said and the assemblywoman and senator, to have her represent this area.”

Stefanik will have Rome and most of northern Oneida County in the expanded 21st Congressional District, while Utica, New Hartford and southern parts of the county will be in the 19th Congressional District. U.S. Rep. Claudia Tenney, R-New Hartford, announced she will run in the new 23rd Congressional District, which runs along the state’s southern tier. 

Stefanik’s district includes Fort Drum and she has served on the House Armed Forces Committee during her tenure. She touted her work with securing tens of millions of dollars for Rome Labs even before it was part of her district and said she expects it to grow significantly.

“That’s where we’re going to keep pace, and more importantly surpass, adversaries like China, Russia and other terrorist organizations,” Stefanik said. “To make sure the U.S. is the leader in all of those emerging technologies.”

Getting results is something Stefanik was eager to emphasize in her public outreach to the county.

“What I hope the voters will find is that I am a worker, I am a doer,” she said. “My job is to bring your concerns, your priorities, to the highest levels of government, which I do everyday.”

Stefanik, 37, said there were plenty of similarities between her old district, which included all or part of 12 counties, and the new one will now include all or part of 18 counties. Those similarities include driving in snow, lots of American flags and similar feedback on concerns, such as inflation, she said.

“I thrive on representing a rural community and giving a voice to people who have felt they haven’t had a voice in Washington to fight for them, to stand up for their values,” Stefanik said. “But I’ve delivered that for my current district and I’m going to work hard to deliver it for the new district.”

The congresswoman said she supports Tenney, a fellow Republican endorsed by former President Donald Trump, but would run on her own record.

“Every representative is different,” Stefanik said. “We’re very proud of what she’s delivered, and we partnered with her on a number of issues related to Rome labs. And she has been a great resource when it comes to representing parts of Oneida County, but I’m looking forward to continuing my record of results.”

Read the full article here.