Candidates come forward to challenge Stefanik in NY-21

North County This Week| By JEFF CHUDZINSKI

Published March 3, 2024

 A Republican has declared their candidacy for the Congressional seat currently held by Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, possibly setting up a Republican primary in NY-21.

Stefanik, who was first elected to her seat in 2014, is running for her sixth term to represent the North Country in the House of Representatives.

Republican Jill Lochner recently launched her campaign to challenge Stefanik, saying the U.S. political culture "has broken in meaningful ways" on her campaign page.

"I have witnessed our leadership lose their moral compass to their own political ambitions and partisanship. As a lifelong Republican, it’s painfully clear our party needs to correct the course not only for the best of our great democracy but for our Nation," she said.

Lochner said he has "always been a true Republican" who believes in fiscal responsibility, limited government, upholding constitutional liberties, equal rights for all and conserving "America the Beautiful."

"I am running for Congress because I can no longer sit back and accept the conspiracy theories, bigotry, and hateful ideologies that dominate the news. This is not what the people want. This is not what America is," she said.

Lochner says she is not a politician but rather a wife, mother, daughter and New Yorker.

"I want a future for our children, for our country, and for our Republican party. I can represent you because I am one of you," she said.

Lochner was born and raised in Central New York to parents who owned and operated a fishing guide service, bed and breakfast and tackle shop.

She attended Nazareth College in Rochester where she earned a Master's degree in Educational Technology and is New York State certified in Elementary and Special Education.

Following her education, Lochner said she moved to New York City and "began a career helping the government to better serve people."

"Throughout my life, whether I was in Central NY, Western NY, or downstate, I always found myself traveling to the North Country on weekends. Eleven years ago, when it was time to start a family, we returned home to the beautiful landscapes, values, and people of upstate. Through our own hard work and sacrifice, my husband and I built our homestead in the foothills of the Adirondacks," she said.

Lochner said she wants to show fiscal responsibility through necessary budget reforms "to revive our economy and put us on a path to growth."

According to Lochner, she also supports responsible firearm ownership.

"The Second Amendment is not second class, it is a safeguard created by our founders to protect all other rights. Along with the majority of Americans, of gun owners, and of NRA members, I support a fast, efficient, and accurate universal background system to keep guns away from people with mental health issues. As a defender of the 2nd amendment, I would also legislate safeguards such as expedited redress and prohibitions against registries," she said.

Lochner said she is also in favor of women being afforded the opportunity to make reproductive choices themselves.

"The government should stay out of our bodies and out of our homes. Decisions should be made between a woman and her doctor," she said.,229625