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    This week, WRVO will profile candidates for Congress in central and northern New York. We begin with Aaron Woolf, the Democrat running for the open seat in 21st district in the North Country. New York's North Country Democrats surprised everyone when they chose Aaron Woolf to try to succeed Bill Owens after he announced his retirement. Woolf is running against Republican Elise Stefanik and Green Party candidate Matt Funiciello. Woolf has lived with his wife and daughter in Elizabethtown full-time for the last year in a house his family has lived in off and on since 1968. Woolf owns a high-end organic grocery store and restaurant in New York City. He is a documentary filmmaker who has made eight feature films, including the award-winning "King Corn," which is about farm subsidies that have driven the production and consumption of corn in this country. Woolf told NCPR reporter David Sommerstein it was his work as a filmmaker that got him interested in public life in the first place.

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    With only a week left until Election Day, the Republicans running in two of upstate New York's historically more contested districts lead their Democratic opponents, according to newly released polls.The 24th Congressional District showed the most dramatic shift in favor of the Republican. A Syracuse.com/Post-Standard/Siena College poll released early Tuesday, shows Republican John Katko with a ten point lead over Democratic incumbent Rep. Dan Maffei. Katko was down eight points when the last poll came out Sept. 21.Steve Greenberg, with Siena College, says Katko's turnaround comes from areas outside of Syracuse. Katko made large gains in likely voters in Onondaga County outside the city, jumping from 44 to 58 percent. Maffei, meanwhile, has seen his support dwindle throughout the district, though he still holds a 32 point lead in the city of Syracuse, where registered Democrat voters far outnumber Republicans.The 24th district includes all or part of four counties, including Onondaga,

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    This week, WRVO is profiling candidates for Congress in central and northern New York. Today we take a look at Elise Stefanik, the Republican running for the open seat in 21st district in the North Country. Stefanik hopes to return the North Country’s seat in Congress to the Republican side of the aisle as it had been for decades before Democrat Bill Owens won three times. She would become the youngest member of the House at 30 years old. Stefanik moved to her family’s seasonal home in Essex County a little over a year ago. She grew up outside Albany, where her family owns a plywood company. Before moving to the Adirondacks, she lived in Washington, D.C., where she worked in George W. Bush’s White House. Later she served as a policy analyst for vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan and helped him prep for debates. Stefanik sat down with NCPR reporter David Sommerstein and began by talking what she would do to change the North Country’s stubbornly sluggish economy. Elise Stefanik: At

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    It was a triumphant night for Republican Elise Stefanik, the 30-year-old Republican who moved last year to Willsboro in Essex County. She’ll go to Washington DC as the youngest woman ever elected to Congress. She built a juggernaut campaign, promising bipartisanship and new ideas. She's where all of us were when we were thirty years old. She sees the way it could be, the way it ought to beA Handy win in a strong GOP year Polls throughout the race showed Stefanik holding a comfortable lead over her Democratic and Green Party rivals. On a night when Republicans seemed unstoppable nationwide, she claimed the North Country’s House seat by roughly an 11-point margin in unofficial results. Taking to the podium with a beaming smile, Stefanik promised to represent everyone in the region. "Every decision I make, every single vote I take, I will ask myself one single question: Will this help the hard-working families of the North Country?" Stefanik said. It was an emotional moment for Stefanik,

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    Republican Elise Stefanik cruised to an easy victory to become the North Country’s next Congresswoman. She defeated Democrat Aaron Woolf 53-32 percent, with the Green Party candidate winning 11 percent of the vote. At his campaign headquarters near his home in Elizabethtown Tuesday night, Woolf acknowledged some rough patches in his campaign. Republicans pigeon-holed filmmaker Aaron Woolf from the beginning as a “Manhattan Millionaire,” a carpetbagger. But people at this folksy, Adirondack bar near his home don’t see that Aaron Woolf at all. "I only know him as 'Adirondack Aaron,'" said Pat Cashin, whose family owns the Cobble Hill. He says Woolf was the North Country guy in this race. As far back as the 1990s, Cashin says, Woolf was sitting at this bar betting on his Baltimore Orioles against the Cashin family’s New York Yankees. "He’s a genuine guy," Cashin said. "Somebody I’d definitely like to see speaking for this area." But the rookie politician struggled to communicate his

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    Earlier today, all members of the 114th Congress were sworn in to office in Washington, D.C. Among them are newly-elected representatives, including Republicans John Katko from the Syracuse area and Elise Stefanik from the North Country.Stefanik has received national attention as the youngest woman ever elected to the House of Representatives. And many Republicans have looked to her to be the new face of the party.In an interview with CBS This Morning, Stefanik agreed Republicans in the past have had an image problem with women.“We’ve certainly fixed it in this past election cycle,” Stefanik said. “And I hope that we take away lessons from this past election cycle. I think we need to have a tone that reaches out to women, and that’s something that I’ve been very focused on. I also think we need to do a better job of listening.”She said that’s an area one of her mentors, Rep. Paul Ryan gave her advice about. Ryan, who Stefanik worked for during his campaign for vice president, was

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    A day after Aaron Woolf announced he would not run for the North Country's 21st Congressional seat again, another Democrat stepped up to say he will. Mike Derrick is a Clinton County, New York native. Derrick, 53, retired a year and a half ago as an Army colonel from a 28-year military career. After a brief stint working for the Department of State as an advisor on international missile defense cooperation, he moved back to his childhood home in Peru, near Plattsburgh. He is a West Point graduate, served in the Gulf War in the early 1990s, and trained troops for Iraq and Afghanistan out of Fort Carson, Colorado. Derrick said now he wants to continue his dedication to public service. "It was suggested to me by several people that I have great respect, for that I consider running for Congress here in the place I grew up," he said. As a political newcomer, he said it is too early for him to offer specifics on what he would do or how he would vote as a congressman. He said New York’s

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    The three candidates running in New York's 21st Congressional District argued about the environment and climate change in a debate on Mountain Lake Public Television Monday night. Green Party candidate Matt Funiciello said the U.S. needs to take immediate action to get off of dirty fossil fuel energy sources like natural gas and coal and switch to 100 percent renewable energy sources like solar and wind. "The Greens are saying 'Green New Deal,'" Funiciello said. "Let's employ 20 million people, full employment, living wages - rebuilding a fossil-free United States of America depending on renewable energy." Funiciello also said Congress should start factoring the environmental consequences into its decisions. "Every single bill passed by Congress should have a climate change contingent in it where we're trying to reduce carbon ppms," he said. Democratic candidate Mike Derrick suggested a more relaxed transition from fossil fuel sources to a system that favors renewable energy. "There's

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    In 2014, Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-Willsboro) won a primary and a three-way general election to become the youngest woman ever elected to Congress. This year’s election has provided different challenges in the race for the North Country's 21st Congressional District. WRVO news director Catherine Loper spoke with reporter Brian Mann from North Country Public Radio about the state of Stefanik’s re-election race against Democrat Mike Derrick and Green Party candidate Matt Funiciello. They began their conversation by discussing whether or not the campaign has been a referendum on Stefanik's first term. The 21st Congressional District spans northern New York from Jefferson County to the Vermont border.

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    Rep. Elise Stefanik stormed her way to a second term last night. The Republican from Willsboro won the North Country’s congressional seat by more than 90,000 votes in unofficial returns. The Democrat and the Green in the race were both handed stinging defeats. Jubilation in Glens Falls It was a jubilant and confident night in a packed ballroom at the Queensbury Hotel as a beaming Elise Stefanik greeted volunteers and supporters after winning every single North Country county – often by landslide margins. Young volunteers chanted "Elise! Elise! Elise!" After being introduced by Republican Assemblyman Dan Stec and state Sen. Betty Little, Stefanik herself took the podium and promised again to bring fresh ideas and energy to the region. "I will work... in every corner of this very, very large district, focusing on economic growth and creating jobs," she said. A Democrat swept aside in Plattsburgh Stefanik faced a competitor in this race who on paper looked like a formidable rival, Mike

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    Congressional candidate Dylan Ratigan, who is one of five candidates running for the Democratic nomination in the North Country's 21st Congressional District, told a gathering of Democrats earlier this month that he might have voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential contest, if he had cast a ballot. That’s according to four people who were at the public luncheon May 18th in Saratoga County. The statement is significant because Trump remains deeply unpopular and even toxic among many of the rank-and-file Democrats in the 21st House district who will decide next month's primary.

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