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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).

North Country candidate Democrat Aaron Woolf says media silence is not inaction

Martha Foley/NCPR
Aaron Woolf, Democratic candidate for the 21st Congressional District

The elusive Democrat who's running for Bill Owens' seat is meeting privately with local leaders across the 21st Congressional District. Documentary filmmaker Aaron Woolf met with Warren County Democrats in Lake George Wednesday night after visiting the St. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce in Canton.

It's been more than three weeks since party leaders endorsed Woolf. Even though he's barely spoken with the media, Woolf says he's been busy.

Nearly one-tenth of the time before Election Day has elapsed, and Aaron Woolf insists he’s still not ready to grant interviews or talk about North Country issues. But he says that doesn’t mean he hasn’t been building his campaign.

"I just want to be clear that my relative invisibility in the press has not been inaction," Woolf says. "I have been on the road through our 16,000 square mile district. I’ve been talking to people. I’ve been talking to civic leaders. I’ve been talking to people from both political parties. But mostly, I’ve been listening."

Republicans have seized on Woolf’s invisibility, sending around a cartoon on Twitter, saying he’s “campaigning like he’s running for dog catcher.”

Woolf is a documentary film maker who has lived off and on for much of his life in Elizabethtown in Essex County. He’s seeking to keep the seat for Democrats following Bill Owens’ decision to retire after three terms in Congress.

Four Republicans, including front-runners Elise Stefanik and Matt Doheny, are also running, as are two Green party candidates.

Woolf was scheduled to meet privately with Democrats in Lewis county Thursday, in Jefferson County on Friday, and in Fulton county on Saturday. He says an official campaign launch is coming soon, but he wouldn’t be specific.