Willsboro A small businesswoman who resides in Willsboro is one of the first challengers to throw her name into the race for Bill Owens’ Congressional seat.
Elise Stefanik has formally filed paperwork to become a candidate for the 21st District. Stefanik currently works in sales, marketing, and management in her family’s business, Premium Plywood Products, Inc.
“I have been very frustrated with the lack of leadership in Washington,” Stefanik said about her decision to run for Congress. “I have seen first-hand how hard my parents had to work to get a small business off the ground and I think we need representatives who have strong leadership and fight to create jobs and help grow small businesses in the North Country.”
Having been interested in politics since high school, Stefanik was a member of the Harvard University Institute of Politics. After graduation, she experienced Washington at the highest levels from 2006 through 2009.
“I worked for President George W. Bush in the Domestic Policy Council and the office of the Chief of Staff,” she said. “I thought it was the privilege of my life to see the decision making process at the highest level.”
Stefanik added she learned a lot from her time in the West Wing about what she felt was proper leadership.
“In the meetings with the Chief of Staff, everyone had a seat at the table and every opinion mattered,” she said. “That is not how all White Houses are run.”
Most recently, she served as Director of debate preparation for 2012 Vice Presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan.
Stefanik said that she has already been on the trail, visiting many towns within the 21st Congressional District, which includes Clinton, Franklin, St. Lawrence, Jefferson, Lewis, Hamilton, Essex, Warren, Washington and Fulton counties as well as parts of Herkimer and Saratoga counties.