Politics

EXCLUSIVE: ‘Historic Year For Republicans’ — A Look Inside House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik’s Efforts To Win Back The Majority

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Henry Rodgers Senior Congressional Correspondent
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PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FL- House Republican Conference Chair Rep. Elise Stefanik broke down her fundraising and recruitment efforts to help GOP candidates across the country with the goal being taking back the majority, in an exclusive sit-down interview with the Daily Caller.

Stefanik’s PAC, Elevate PAC (E-PAC), announced a second round of endorsements for the 2022 elections earlier in March. In 2020, the New York Republican led the effort to help elect the highest number of Republican women to Congress ever in U.S. history. In 2020, E-PAC also helped more than double the number of GOP women in Congress, something President Donald Trump called, “The Year of the Republican Women.”

The Daily Caller asked Stefanik about the specifics of her efforts this cycle and about current fundraising numbers at the GOP’s annual retreat, to which she said her fundraising list is one of the biggest in Congress and that she plans on holding a press conference and fundraiser to discuss her recent endorsements with the second-wave of candidates Monday at the U.S. Capitol.

Of the 15 seats flipped red, 11 of the candidates were E-PAC endorsed Republican women. Stefanik told the Caller that E-PAC has raised over $3 million for Republican women, which includes $600,000 directly to GOP women candidates including through WinRed, the Republican fundraising platform.

“I have announced endorsements of 18 women already this cycle, and we’re doing our second slate feature and roll out in D.C. on Monday, where all the women on the second slate come to town. You know, we do a media row, we raise money for them. What has been, I think, particularly useful and we’ve pioneered is using WinRed digital technology to help these women raise hard dollars,” Stefanik told the Caller.

“So when I went through the first round of impeachment with the entire ecosystem attacking me right and the American people stepping up, including my constituents and donors across America in support, I developed one of the largest email lists in of any Republican and elected office, certainly in Congress, in the Senate. And we’ve been able to help candidates raise money by using that list,” she continued.

Chair of the House Republican Conference Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) speaks during a news conference with fellow House Republicans at the U.S. Capitol on January 20, 2022 in Washington, DC. The news conference focused on critiques of President Joe Bidens first year in office. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

“As we’re focused on our path to majority, it’s going to be another year of Republican women. And this has been supported by Kevin McCarthy, Steve Scalise. We have over two hundred and eighty women who have filed this cycle the most in our nation’s history in terms of Republican women candidates, so success leads to more success,” she said.

Stefanik has also been focused on raising money for Republicans in the state of New York and has transferred and raised over $250,000 to the New York GOP the last cycle and raised and donated an additional $100,000 to New York state and local candidates last elections. She has also endorsed a number of Republican candidates throughout the state. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: House GOP Chairwoman Elise Stefanik Launches Digital Ad Campaign On Biden’s ‘State Of The Union In Crisis’)

The Caller asked Stefanik what it takes to earn her endorsement and how important the “America First” agenda is to her and the Republican base.

“Well, I’ll tell you, the wing of the party that’s most important are the voters and the voters are on that side. And interesting about E-PAC endorsed candidates last cycle is they ran with the Trump campaign,” she said, regarding “America First” candidates. (RELATED: Rep. Stefanik Announces New Round Of Endorsements For Female Republicans)

E-PAC will set goals for Republican women interested in running for office in order to earn Stefanik’s endorsement. She also explained that once they are endorsed by E-PAC she will introduce the candidates to her Republican colleagues in the House who are interested in throwing their support behind them.

Some candidates approach Stefanik while other candidates are found by her or her team.

“Sometimes a candidate comes to us, like last cycle, candidates were reading a lot of those articles when I said, ‘You know, twenty eighteen, we need to learn the lesson and do better. I’m going to make it my mission to elect more Republican women’, a lot of candidates came forward to us. And when they come to us early, we can help them put together. Here’s a strong campaign budget. Here’s a strong message here’s a deep dive in the voter data in your district and in other cases, when you know, early in the cycle when their recruitment holes, we go out and look for strong women if they’re, you know, local business owners or potentially ran in the past, but came short,” Stefanik said.

“Then, you know, we’ll have the first interaction with the candidate and we set milestones. We want to see them X dollars on their own to show that they have both the work ethic, but a strong message that’s resonating with people. We want a strong campaign team and that does not mean picking or choosing vendors,” she continued.

She also mentioned that she wants to make sure these candidates have cash on hand and a solid campaign budget in order to get their message out before endorsing them.

“It just means making sure that they have a robust campaign or budget with, you know, keeping cash on hand so that when they need to spend to get the message out to voters, they know how to do that and they can get their message out. And then we introduce them to a lot of my colleagues that I served in the house. But donors across the country who are interested in supporting them,” Stefanik added.

The House Republican Conference Chair also listed a number of Republicans in Congress who she says have been raising a lot of money through small donors, such as Iowa Rep. Ashley Hinson, California Rep. Young Kim and California Rep. Michelle Steel.

“People like Ashley Hinson, people like Young Kim and Michelle Steel have a very robust small donor program that started with the support of mine but is modeled after ours,” she said.

Stefanik made it clear that she is confident in Republicans’ efforts to win back the house and mentioned “firing” Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi with the help of conservative women. (RELATED: Rep. Stefanik Posts Staggering Fundraising Haul After One Palm Beach Event With Trump)

“I think this will be a historic year for Republicans. And the leaders of firing Nancy Pelosi once and for all are going to be House Republican women, and no one causes an implosion with the mainstream media more than successful Republican women. I know that firsthand and a lot of these women know that firsthand. But we are going on offense and we’re going to win these districts and these amazing conservative women are going to lead the way,” Stefanik concluded.