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Stefanik’s first mistake

To the editor:

Until last Wednesday afternoon, I thought Stefanik was bulletproof. I wouldn’t have put it all on the line to try and challenge her again. Even as she bet against her political roots and track record of level-headed decisions for a ride on the Trump 2024 train, it all seemed to work.

Despite a clamoring minority of liberal voters in NY-21 who hate her, Elise Stefanik is a popular politician. She’s smart, charming, hard-working and dedicated. She has a history of reaching across the aisle to get things done and does a decent job factoring local issues into her political agenda. She makes herself available to local leaders and is known to be very savvy and calculating.

It was a strategic political move to go all in with Trump during impeachment, and Stefanik has never really made a bad one. As in most rural areas, Trump has had a lot of support in NY-21. He’s been popular for his trade policies, economic philosophy and independent spirit, so Stefanik jumped on board and quickly elevated her status within the party. She just didn’t get out in time. When Trump turned his back on voters who could see the forest for the trees but still supported his agenda — and toward a bunch of crazies in a last-ditch effort for more attention and power — Elise stayed in.

She traveled the country in the name of a stolen election, peddling a narrative that encouraged hundreds of thousands of extremists to organize online. She sent outrageous text messages to keep her supporters riled up over unfounded local and national election fraud claims. She sat back and made strategic career decisions, even hired a new communications director, while radicals proudly and publicly planned to occupy the Capitol building by force. Stefanik’s actions and inactions led to the death of a police officer by stampede.

The events of two weeks ago could be seen coming a mile away by anyone paying attention. It was all over the internet and the local streets. Members of Congress were on alert; some even told staffers to stay home that day. Stefanik knew what she was risking all along and still played her hand to the very end.

I heard that a man seen sprinting away from the police Jan. 6 was wearing a T-shirt that said, “These colors don’t run.” It made me think of Elise as she spent Thursday pretending to support Capitol Police officers — ironic. But more than that, it’s disgusting. Her reckless political play — one made strictly to advance her own career — threatened the very thing our country and our freedom was founded on. I’d like to wager that voters in the North Country have had enough. We’re too smart, practical and patriotic to put up with sedition.

Katie Wilson

Keene