Memo to all of you “Republican War on Women” talkers: Take a hike.
Two races of particular interest yesterday speak to an issue which goes far beyond the borders of their respective districts. One was a House race which I’ve written about here before. In New York’s north country, Elise Stefanik has won her battle against millionaire filmmaker Aaron Woolf and is now the youngest woman ever elected to the United States Congress.
Republican Elise Stefanik has become the youngest woman elected to Congress in history, winning her race against Aaron Woolf in New York’s 21st open district 56-32, ABC News projects.
She’s the first Republican to win the district, which had been held by Democratic Rep. Bill Owens since 1993.
Stefanik, 30, is seen as a new face and image for the GOP. House Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy both campaigned for her on the trail, offering a preview of the attention she’s sure to receive at the Capitol as she projects an aura of energy and vitality for a party hoping to appeal to younger demographics.
The formerly youngest elected Congresswoman was a fellow New Yorker: Democrat Elizabeth Holtzman was 31 when elected to Congress in 1973.
She is Saira Blair. She’s a Republican. She was endorsed by the NRA. She was just elected as a state legislator in West Virginia. And she’s an 18 year old college freshman who ran her campaign out of her dorm room.
Republican Saira Blair, a fiscally conservative 18-year-old, will represent a small district in West Virginia’s eastern panhandle, about 1½ hours outside Washington, D.C., after defeating her Democratic opponent 63% to 30%, according to the Associated Press. A third candidate got 7% of the vote.
In a statement, Ms. Blair thanked her supporters and family, as well as her opponents for running a positive campaign. “History has been made tonight in West Virginia, and while I am proud of all that we have accomplished together, it is the future of this state that is now my singular focus,” she said.
Is this the new face of the GOP? Smart, driven young people who are not just showing up to vote, but to roll up their sleeves and run for office. And if you want to insist that the Republicans are the party that hates women, these young ladies would probably beg to differ. Something tells me that the Democrats are going to have to retool their message for 2016, because that dog’s not hunting.