Republican chances of picking up retiring Rep. Bill OwensWilliam (Bill) Lewis OwensThe resurgence of 60 Minutes CBS hires CNN tech reporter for Quibi Black pastor tells CNN's Lemon that Trump doesn't 'just attack black people. He attacks anybody' MORE’s (D-N.Y.) seat increased this week with Republican Elise StefanikElise Marie StefanikBipartisan House bill seeks to improve pandemic preparedness The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Mastercard CEO Ajay Banga says supporting small business single most important thing we should do now; Teva's Brendan O'Grady says U.S. should stockpile strategic reserve in drugs like Strategic Oil Reserve House GOP to launch China probes beyond COVID-19 MORE nabbing the Independence Party nomination and her former GOP primary challenger officially coming off the ballot.


Businessman Matt Doheny was originally the Independence Party nominee, and his name was slated to appear on the ballot this fall, running the risk of splitting the GOP vote and leaving an opening for Democrat Aaron Woolf to break through.

But after Stefanik defeated him in the primary, Doheny endorsed the former White House aide and asked to be removed from the ballot.

To do so, the Conservative Party nominated Doheny for a state Supreme Court judgeship, one of the only remaining tactics to remove him from the ballot that late in the race. 

With Doheny’s name off the ballot, Stefanik’s path in the general election is largely clear. A recent independent poll conducted by Siena College showed her leading Woolf, a relatively unknown documentary filmmaker, by 13 points, 46 percent-33 percent among likely voters.

The upstate New York swing district is the state’s most rural and has long been a target for Republicans, who saw their opening there widen with Owens's retirement.

In a statement, Stefanik thanked the Independence Party for the endorsement and Doheny for removing himself from the race.

“I also want to thank Matt Doheny for providing the Republicans a great opportunity to win back this seat serving the people of the 21st District,” Stefanik said.