Stefanik fires back at incoming NRCC chairman: ‘I wasn’t asking for permission’
Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) is firing back at the incoming chairman of the House GOP’s campaign arm, after he dismissed her calls to get involved in primary races to help more Republican women get elected to Congress.
“NEWSFLASH… I wasn’t asking for permission,” tweeted Stefanik, who led candidate recruitment efforts for the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) this year.
Stefanik’s tweet was in response to Rep. Tom Emmer (R-Minn.), the newly elected NRCC chairman, telling Roll Call it would be a “mistake” for Stefanik to intervene in primaries next election cycle — long considered a taboo in the GOP.
“If that’s what Elise wants to do, then that’s her call, her right … But I think that’s a mistake,” Emmer told the publication.
The intraparty feud comes as House GOP women will significantly shrink their ranks next year, from 23 down to 13. That comes in stark contrast to House Democrats, who will see a record-breaking number of women serve in Congress following a midterm that has been dubbed the “year of the woman.”
The widening gender gap between the two parties has been a real source of pain and frustration for Republican women, and particularly Stefanik, until this year the youngest female member ever elected to Congress and a rising GOP star.
Stefanik, 34, was credited with doubling the number of female candidates who were recruited to run for congressional seats this year. But only one woman — Rep.-elect Carol Miller (R-W.Va.) — won her race.
“I will continue speaking out abt the crisis level of GOP women in Congress & will try to lead and change that by supporting strong GOP women candidates through my leadership PAC,” Stefanik tweeted.
Stefanik’s strategy for the next election cycle, according to Roll Call, is to “play big” in primaries and retool the focus of her leadership PAC.
“We need to support those women earlier and learn the lessons of how effective the other side was in getting women through these competitive primaries,” said Stefanik, who won a competitive primary race in 2014.
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