Ahead of primary, GOP NY21 hopeful Elise Stefanik talks tax reform, small business growth

Elise Stefanik stumps on the campaign trail / Courtesy of Elise for Congress

Elise Stefanik stumps on the campaign trail / Courtesy of Elise for Congress

WILLSBORO — Elise Stefanik, one of the two Republicans seeking her party’s nomination in the race to replace outgoing Congressman Bill Owens (D-Plattsburgh), doesn’t mince words:

“My focus is on promoting small businesses and promoting economic growth,” she said during an interview with the Valley News to discuss her campaign as the race intensifies in the run-up to the primary with GOP challenger Matt Doheny on June 24.

Here’s where the candidate stands on policymaking and other issues facing the expansive 21st District that covers the entirity of the North Country.


Stefanik said the country’s business climate is unfavorable and comprehensive reform is needed to allow small businesses to grow and thrive.

“The current tax code is riddled with loopholes that have led the country in the direction of crony capitalism,” she said. “We have to start from scratch and get back to a place where small businesses are making decisions themselves.”

During the half-hour phone interview, the candidate spoke briskly and articulately as if she was giving a stump speech and repeatedly referred back to her small business background.

Stefanik, 29, currently wears many hats with Premium Plywood Products, her family’s business that employs over 20 people in Albany County:

“Marketing, sales... you know how it is with small businesses,” she said. “We all play many roles.”

The candidate said this experience uniquely positions herself as a candidate who can combat the challenges facing the district.

“We have to deal with regulations that the industry faces,” she said, citing tightened EPA regulations and federal statutes that she feels have grown more expansive over time.

Stefanik said she envisions a return back to a “main street economy” consisting of individual and small businesses contributing to robust local economies:

“They service local schools, businesses and are done literally on kitchen tables,” she said. “That’s what makes my background unique: we do business day-to-day with hundreds of small businesses.”

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