WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - It seems like a long time ago, but it was only January that President Trump was facing impeachment.
And north country congresswoman Elise Stefanik emerged as a key defender of the President, going at it with the Democrats leading the impeachment charge:
“Will the chairman continue to prohibit witnesses from answering Republican questions, as you’ve done in closed hearings and as you did this week,” said Stefanik.
Adam Schiff: “The gentlewoman will suspend, that is not-”
Stefanik: “When you interrupted our questions-”
Schiff: “-a proper point of order. The gentlewoman will suspend.”
Stefanik’s defense earned her a congratulatory tweet from the president, who called her a new Republican star.
And later, when the president celebrated his acquittal at the White House:
“And this is what the end result is,” said Trump who singled out Stefanik for praise:
“You are killing them, Elise. You are killing them,” said Trump.
And that was just the start of Elise Stefanik’s very good year. She went on to be one of the featured speakers at the Republican National Convention, and raised a staggering $11 million for her re-election bid.
Stefanik’s opponent, Democrat Tedra Cobb, ran a campaign which tried to call attention to Stefanik’s ties to President Trump:
“Elise has made it clear; she’ll stick up for Donald Trump and her party, no matter what,” said Cobb.
And Cobb would try in two televised debates:
“Elise, unfortunately, you twist and turn things which I have said,” claimed Cobb.
But none of it mattered at all. Stefanik not only won re-election by nearly 20 points:
“And I wanted to thank you all for your overwhelming vote of support,” said Stefanik.
But Stefanik was a key player in getting a record number of Republican women elected to congress, something which will only extend her influence in Washington.
“This is the year of the Republican woman. We are going to increase our ranks, there will be more Republican women serving in the United States congress than ever before,” said Stefanik.
Stefanik ended the year as she began it, all in for President Trump. She was one of 126 Republicans in congress who supported a failed lawsuit which attempted to overturn the results of the presidential election.
The other big re-election belonged to Republican Mark Walczyk, who won a second term in the state assembly. He beat Waddington Town Supervisor Alex Hammond to return to Albany.
“The real work begins when we get back to Albany. A lot of it is going to be an uphill battle,” said Walczyk.
He’s right. Starting in January, the state legislature and Governor Cuomo will be facing down a budget for the coming year that is billions of dollars short because of COVID-19, which could spell state layoffs and higher taxes.
In St. Lawrence County, a hotly contested race for judge saw Republican Greg Storie beat former DA Nicole Duve.
And in Chaumont, a try at getting rid of the village as a way to save on taxes failed.
There’s an old saying - all politics is local. And that will be the case in 2021.
A lot of towns and villages will have offices up for election.
In St. Lawrence County, the DA will be up again, in Jefferson County, the county legislature will be up for a vote and a couple of seats on the Watertown City Council will be up as well.
It may not be the presidency, but after the year we’ve had, couldn’t we all use a break?