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Elections
New York's 21st Congressional District includes all of Clinton, Franklin, St. Lawrence, Jefferson, Lewis, Hamilton, Essex, Warren, Washington and Fulton counties and parts of Saratoga and Herkimer counties.0000017a-3c50-d913-abfe-bd54a8740000The incumbent is Elise Stefanik (R-Willsboro). Stefanik was first elected in 2014 -- in which she made history by becoming the youngest woman in the House -- by defeating Democrat Aaron Woolf 53-32 percent.Other declared candidates in the 2016 race for the seat include Mike Derrick (D), retired Army colonel; and Matt Funiciello (G).

Russell leaving door open on Congressional run; for now, focused on Assembly work

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Joanna Richards
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WRVO file photo

State Assemblywoman Addie Russell’s name surfaced as a possible Democratic contender for the 21st Congressional District seat, after Rep. Bill Owens announced he won’t run again. 

Russell held a group of reporters at bay this morning, as she talked about familiar issues affecting the 116thAssembly District, which stretches along the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario shorelines in Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties.  

Finally she responded to speculation about possible Congressional ambitions. "At this point, I’m not completely closing the door, I do continue to evaluate the situation, but I am running for reelection in the New York State Assembly," she said.

Russell said it’s flattering that people have urged her to run for Owens’s seat. But, she said, she’s committed to pushing ahead on a number of issues in her current role, including more funding for poor school districts, economic development, and childcare and health initiatives.   

Russell said she’ll focus her efforts on where she can be most effective. "You know, if I was in DC and I was really able to get things done, that would be one thing. But I’m not sure that that’s the case right now," she said.

Russell thanked Bill Owens for his service, and praised him for what she called a “common-sense” approach to governing.