Stefanik set to replace Cheney as chair of House GOP conference

Local News

Running unopposed, it appears Stefanik will ascend to the position of House Republican Conference chair. 

Shortly after the vote to remove Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, Stefanik announced her reasons for running for the position, the third highest role in the House. While former President Donald Trump and other GOP leaders have endorsed Stefanik, it was a letter to her colleagues Wednesday that made her campaign official. 

“I humbly ask to earn your vote for House Republican Conference chair to unify our message as a team and win the majority in 2022,” she wrote.  

Hunter Sartwell, Vice Chairman of the Clinton County Republican Committee, says removing Cheney was less about her criticisms of Trump and more about having House Republican leadership on the same page.  

“We need to be united now,” Sartwell said. “We need to get the job done as a Republican Party that benefits the nation. So having united leadership is the very first step.”

However, Democrats said they were disappointed by Wednesday’s events. Jerry Marking, chairman of the Clinton County Democratic Committee, said Cheney’s removal from leadership position was unfair.

“I think it’s sad that they removed her. I mean, she was doing the right thing and putting the country in front of politics and the party,” he said. “When you’re trying to do the right thing and you get criticized and you get punished for it, that’s when it becomes wrong.”

Plattsburgh resident Sharon Bell said she respects Cheney for expressing her beliefs. “I’m not a Republican, but I admire Liz Cheney for thinking for herself and not following all the Trumpism,” said

Plattsburgh resident Lowell Wurster said he is unsure about Stefanik as a leader.

“I’ve tried to attend some of her town halls,” he said. “People who are not her supporters don’t seem to get to answer questions. I know several local Democrats who have tried to meet with her unsuccessfully.”

But Sartwell says House Republicans need to work together. 

“Elise just released a statement earlier where she was pushing a similar message, where as a part, to get things done, you need to have effective leadership and united leadership,” he said.

The vote is scheduled for Friday. 

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