Joe Gilbert, Elise Stefanik and Michael Ring, center, during the meeting of NY-21 county Republican committees at the Halfway House Feb. 7.
Photo by Keith Lobdell.
continued Stefanik was not alone in seeking the Republican endorsement, as she was joined at the meeting and announcement by congressional hopefuls Michael Ring and Joe Gilbert.
After the announcement, Ring backed out of the race and also endorsed Stefanik.
“I’ve got to see her through 12 different meetings and have gotten to know her real well,” Ring said. “I wanted to get my message to the committees and I believe I did that and was able to open the eyes of the committee to a different way of doing things. Elise and I see a lot of things in the same way, and I would rather work to get voters involved and realizing they can make a difference the compete in a primary.”
Gilbert, however, said he was going to file a petition to take part in the June primaries.
“Our system is established so the voter has the final say,” Gilbert said. “Through the primary process, the voters get to see the differences between the two candidates and through this the Republicans will have a stronger candidate going into the general election.”
Jackson did not agree.
“I can tell you there is no party chairman that wants a primary,” he said. “I think that it hurts everybody. I hope that there is no primary but certainly everyone has the right to petition for a spot on the ballot.”
Gilbert said he does not see himself as a “rebel” in the election.
“I don’t see it that way,” Gilbert said. “My guiding principles are the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.”
The NY-21 Congressional District includes Clinton, Franklin, St. Lawrence, Jefferson, Lewis, Hamilton, Essex, Warren, Washington and Fulton counties as well as parts of Herkimer and Saratoga counties. Eleven of the 12 county GOP committees chose to endorse Stefanik, while Jefferson County’s committee said they would not endorse a candidate until after the potential primary.
Previously, Stefanik worked in sales, marketing, and management in her family’s business, Premium Plywood Products, Inc. She served in the George W. Bush White House on the Domestic Policy Council and the office of the Chief of Staff and was the Director of Debate Preparation for 2012 Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan.