Stefanik's pro-Trump transformation has fueled her rapid rise. Her voters seem just fine with that.
6 min read
Rep. Elise Stefanik's pivot to Trump and false election claims are embraced by her constituents.
GLENS FALLS, N.Y. — Rep. Elise Stefanik, poised to become the third-ranking Republican in the House, has ascended by tying herself to former President Donald Trump, whose rhetoric and false claims of election fraud she has supported in recent months. Hers is a political evolution that mirrors others in the GOP. And her constituents in New York's 21st Congressional District, who re-elected her last year by a substantial 18 percentage-point margin over her Democratic challenger, appear to approve. Conversations with a dozen voters in Stefanik's largely rural, upstate New York district Monday suggest that the politics of the area have moved in a pro-Trump direction along with her, giving her the freedom to track hard toward the former president and reap the benefits. "She's for us. And she's good to us. He was for us, and he was good to us," said Don Ross, a retired police officer from Argyle, a town about 12 miles east of Glens Falls. "There's no question about either of those things." Said Frank Lee of Glens Falls: "It just really feels like the majority of Democrats ... are against what's in the Constitution, and she, just like Trump, loves this country and the people in this" district. First elected in 2014 as a right-of-center Republican promising independence and bipartisanship, Stefanik didn't immediately support candidate Trump's 2016 White House bid. During Trump's presidency, she made good on those campaign promises, staking out numerous positions that didn't align with his. But she has risen rapidly in the party as one of his most vocal and visible defenders. Ross and Lee, both pro-Trump Republicans, said they'd supported Stefanik in the past because of her support of traditionally Republican positions, like gun rights and tax cuts. But they also lauded her for her embrace of Trump's untrue claims about the 2020 election, which they said they also believe. "There seem to be a lot of irregularities. All these votes in Arizona and Georgia, we really…