Ryan 'Friend & Mentor,' Stefanik Says As Speaker Plans To Step D

Ryan 'Friend & Mentor,' Stefanik Says As Speaker Plans To Step Down

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Calling him a "a true friend and mentor," north country Congresswoman Elise Stefanik has nice things to say about House Speaker Paul Ryan.

Ryan announced Wednesday morning that he won't seek re-election to a seat he's held as a Wisconsin congressman for almost two decades.

He said his decision is what's best for his family.

As for Stefanik, she worked for Ryan when he was running for vice president as Mitt Romney's running mate in 2012.

They've also worked together in the House of Representatives, to which she was elected in 2014 and he's led as speaker since October 2015.

Here is Stefanik's full statement:

"One of the greatest honors of my professional life has been working with and learning from Paul Ryan. He is humble, honest, and thoughtful. He did not seek the job of Speaker, but he stepped up to serve during a challenging time in our Nation's history. Paul has challenged us all to raise our gaze, and he is deeply respected on both sides of the aisle because of his principles and commitment to the American Idea.

"I have been proud to work with Paul on a wide range of issues that have helped the North Country - from passing the 21st Century Cures Act, to rebuilding our national defense, to combating the opioid epidemic, to reforming the VA to better serve our veterans.

"Since I have known Paul, he has been a true friend and mentor, and I will greatly miss serving with him in Congress. As we make this transition in the House, I will continue to put the North Country first and ensure we have a seat at the table for the major issues facing our nation."

In the photo are, from left, Ryan, Stefanik, and former Watertown Mayor Jeff Graham.

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