Press-Republican

Wednesday

May 7, 2014

Congressional candidate responds to opponent's challenge

PLATTSBURGH — Republican congressional candidate Elise Stefanik has no interest in signing any pledges promising not to raise taxes, saying she is making her own pledge to the voters of the 21st District.

“As I’ve made very clear to the voters of this district over the course of the campaign, I have pledged that I will not vote to raise taxes,” Stefanik posted on her Facebook account Tuesday.

“I come from a small-business family, and we understand that high taxes and burdensome regulations are strangling our economy.

“We need to rewrite the tax code and start from scratch by promoting a flatter, fairer and lower tax rate for hardworking Upstate New Yorkers. That is why I will only make one pledge during the course of my campaign and that pledge is to you, the people of this district.”

‘FAILED STATUS QUO’

Stefanik, 29, who now lives in Willsboro in Essex County, said she believes Washington, D.C., needs new ideas and leadership.

Her comments on the tax-pledge issue were prompted in part by a challenge from Matt Doheny, her opponent in the June 24 Republican primary, to sign a national pledge, like he did.

Doheny issued the challenge last week, but Stefanik did not make any public comments about it until Tuesday. She didn’t respond to a request for comment last Friday from the Press-Republican.

Her campaign issued a news release Tuesday pointing to her Facebook post.

“Unlike other candidates in this race, I will not sign a pledge from any Washington, D.C.-based special-interest group. Our district deserves an independent representative who will challenge the failed status quo of Washington, not make pledges to it,” her post read.

TAX-CODE OVERHAUL

Stefanik attended high school at Albany Academy and then graduated from Harvard. She worked in the White House in the administration of former President George W. Bush and also worked on the debate-prep team of Congressman Paul Ryan, who was the Republican vice presidential candidate in 2012.

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