ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Congresswoman Elsie Stefanik is the next House Republican Conference Chair, replacing Liz Cheney. This will make the lawmaker the number three Republican in the House of Representatives.
“This is about being unified and I’m a proud conservative Republican, and I will fight for the Republican conference,” Stefanik said shortly after the win.
Political scientists say the position is a stepping stone for something bigger down the line. This could mean speaker of the house, or even a run for senate or governor.
“We’ve picked up a number of seats, defied expectations, we’re going on offense and we’re going to win on the issues,” Stefanik said.
The new position puts Stefanik in charge of delivering the party’s message. Democratic and Republican state leadership are divided on her new role.
“This is really great for us in the NY GOP. We’re so proud of our home state leader, Elise Stefanik, and we’re going to support her every inch of the way,” said New York Republican Committee Chairman Nick Langworthy.
While receiving support from state Republicans, Stefanik’s assent received a sharp rebuke from state democrats for her support of former President Trump.
“I think this is a short-term victory for her, and like so many other short-term victories, it’s going to yield a great disappointment down the road,” said New York State Democratic Chair Jay Jacobs
Political scientists say her new position, in the immediate future, may generate money in fundraising for state republicans by drawing attention to New York’s GOP.
Stefanik has raised millions during her last election, handily beating her challenger, Tedra Cobb.
Political Science Professor Jack Collins said her popularity could be a threat to New York State democrats if she were to run for senate.
“Some of the major ramifications would not only come from her potentially swinging the senate, helping to swing the senate, in favor of the Republicans were she to run one day, but also just her fundraising prowess can help to build up the local party and the state Republican Party here in New York,” Collins said.