May 14, 2021 by Ben Muir

WATERTOWN — House Republicans voted Friday morning to elect Rep. Elise M. Stefanik as its Republican Conference chair and third in the party’s command, replacing Rep. Elizabeth L. “Liz” Cheney and propelling her to one of the top political positions in the country.

“I’m truly honored and humbled to earn the support of my colleagues to serve as House Republican Conference Chair,” Rep. Stefanik said in a statement Friday. “The American people are experiencing an economic crisis, a border crisis, an energy crisis, and a national security crisis due to Far-Left radical policies. House Republicans will continue to put forth policies focused on growing our economy and getting people back to work, reopening our schools, promoting American energy independence, securing our border, strengthening our national security, and protecting our Constitution.”

Rep. Stefanik, R-Schuylerville, who represents New York’s 21st Congressional District, had received former President Donald J. Trump’s endorsement to become the new chair, with the endorsement coming shortly after the No. 2 House Republican, Minority Whip Stephen J. Scalise, R-La., also officially endorsed her. House Minority Kevin O. McCarthy of California also subsequently offered his endorsement.

Mr. Trump issued a statement Friday congratulating Rep. Stefanik.

“Congratulations to Elise Stefanik for her Big and Overwhelming victory! The House GOP is united and the Make America Great Again movement is Strong!” his statement said.

Rep. Cheney of Wyoming was voted out of the third-highest leadership position within the Republican Party during a reported closed-door meeting in the basement of the U.S. Capitol. Her removal came after she made repeated statements criticizing former President Trump and his claims that the 2020 presidential election was fraught with voter fraud, as well as the role these contentions may have played in the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol.

State GOP Chairman Nicholas A. Langworthy offered Rep. Stefanik plaudits for her achievement.

“There is no one better suited for this critical role as we sight our sights on retaking the House Majority in next year’s midterms,” he said in a statement. “Her ascension to leadership will be a tremendous asset for all New Yorkers who will have a powerful and influential voice in the halls of Congress.”

The National Federation of Republican Women also congratulated Rep. Stefanik in a statement.

“We look forward to your strong leadership as you work to unite the Republican party,” said the federation’s president, Trisha Turner. “You are an outstanding role model for women and we stand behind you. Because of this, many more will be empowered to run for office.”

Rep. Stefanik’s election was panned by state Democrats, led by Chairman Jay S. Jacobs.

“Elise Stefanik’s rise to leadership in the Republican Congressional Conference was propelled by her allegiance to Donald Trump, her support for the “Big Lie” that the presidential election was stolen, and her adherence to the most extreme policies of her Party,” Mr. Jacobs said in a statement. “Congresswoman Stefanik should celebrate her success now, as it will be short-lived in a state that has firmly rejected Donald Trump and all that he stands for. Like Icarus, she is flying too close to the sun and a precipitous plummet is soon to follow.”

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