Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) has plans to get more involved in GOP primary campaigns the next time the midterms come around. However, her new efforts are causing some internal conflicts.
“I want to play in primaries, and I want to play big in primaries,” she recently told Roll Call.
The problem is, the House GOP campaign committee does not typically get publicly involved in primaries. So, if Stefanik steps in early, she'd be going rogue, according to new NRCC Chairman Rep. Tom Emmer (R-MN).
“If that’s what Elise wants to do, then that’s her call, her right,” Emmer said on Friday. “But I think that’s a mistake.”
Stefanik responded to having been granted Emmer's "permission" on Twitter on Tuesday, telling him thanks but no thanks.
But ?? ??NEWSFLASH????I wasn’t asking for permission.— Elise Stefanik (@EliseStefanik) December 4, 2018
—>”If that’s what Elise wants to do, then that’s her call, her right...But I think that’s a mistake.”
Why not start early? The status quo is clearly not working. Only one of the 100 women Stefanik threw the GOP's support behind prevailed last month.
“I think it’s really important as a woman who faced a very competitive primary in 2014, we need to support those women earlier and learn the lessons of how effective the other side was in getting women through these competitive primaries,” she said.
Stefanik also appears to want to return the favor. The early support she got from representatives like Diane Black, Ann Wagner, Susan Brooks, Paul Ryan and Sean Duffy helped propel her to Congress. She personally thanked them on Twitter.
I commend my colleagues who effectively have used their PACs to support women in primaries. I will never forget their early support in my primary in 2014: @AnnLWagner @PRyan @DianeBlackTN @SusanBrooksIN @RepSeanDuffy @PeterRoskam @KevinYoder @SpeakerBoehner— Elise Stefanik (@EliseStefanik) December 4, 2018