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Elise Stefanik’s bid for Congress.

Jun 23, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 39 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
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Stefanik has also distanced herself from some legislation sponsored by Paul Ryan. Though she supports the kinds of entitlement reforms Ryan has proposed, she opposes Ryan’s budget in its current form and has attacked Doheny for saying he’d vote for the 2013 Ryan-Murray budget compromise. “That budget deal cuts benefits for military veterans,” she said at the May 27 debate. (The 21st District is home to Fort Drum.)

Few other substantive disagreements emerged at the debate. When asked about abortion, Stefanik highlighted the fact that she’s the “only pro-life candidate” in the race. Doheny said he’s pro-choice, but would have a “100 percent pro-life voting record in Congress.” On taxes, both candidates pledged they would not vote to raise them, but Doheny attacked Stefanik for refusing to sign a specific tax pledge written by Americans for Tax Reform.

Stefanik has incorporated her youth as a selling point of her campaign. “My generation’s going to have to foot the bill, whether it’s cleaning up the debt, whether it’s absorbing the increased costs resulting from Obamacare. I’ve put forth solutions to preserve and protect Medicare and Social Security for future generations,” she tells me. “I think people are looking for a new generation of leadership.” It’s not a bad message for a party that has struggled badly to win the votes of young people and women. Whether it’s a winning message is something we’ll find out on June 24.

John McCormack is a senior writer at The Weekly Standard.

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