New York Democrats — Lots of Them — Eager to Oust Stefanik in November

Republican rep received her 10th challenger over holidays

Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., will face the winner of a crowded pool of Democratic candidates gunning for her seat in 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Ten hopefuls have their eyes on Rep. Elise Stefanik’s upstate New York seat as primary season kicks into high gear.

Town Supervisor Sara Idleman of Greenwich, New York, signaled over the holiday she has joined the crowded pool of Democratic candidates vying for the chance to unseat Stefanik in the general election in November.

“I gave it serious thought and decided I would run and jump in near the first of the year,” Idleman said in a phone interview with the Post Star in upstate New York.

Idleman will officially announce her bid for New York’s 21st District seat at an event on Jan. 6.

Stefanik has nearly three times the amount of cash on hand as the rest of her challengers combined, according to the most recent Federal Elections Commission data.

Businesswoman and former St. Lawrence County legislator Tedra Cobb and attorney Don Boyajian, both Democrats, have each raised more than $125,000. Their counterparts have a good amount of catch-up to play ahead of the primary. (The Empire State has yet to set a date for the contest, but the previous three primaries took place in June.)

Stefanik, now 33, was just 30 years old when she first won her seat in 2014, making her the youngest woman ever elected to Congress. 

The 2018 ballot will likely look a little different from the previous two elections. Green Party candidate Matthew Funiciello announced this summer he will not run again. Funiciello collected 10.6 percent of the vote in 2014, Stefanik’s first electoral win, and 4.6 percent in 2016.

Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates the district Solid Republican, and Stefanik has won her seat by more than 20 points in each race.

Many in the GOP consider Stefanik a rising star in the party. She leads the Republican Millennial Task Force to reach out to younger constituents and harness nationwide support for conservative policies. She’s also the first female head of recruitment for the NRCC.

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