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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).

Stefanik sails to a third term in U.S. House, Cobb to run again

Brian Mann
In a victory speech Tuesday night, Rep. Elise Stefanik praised her opponents and promised to represent everyone in her district

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-Willsboro) beat Democratic challenger Tedra Cobb by a commanding 15 points Tuesday, showing just how deep her support runs in the North Country.

Green Party candidate Lynn Kahn pulled in just 1.5 percent of the vote, which wasn't near enough to upset the race.

Stefanik thanked supporters at the Queensbury Hotel in Glens Falls around 11:30 Tuesday night. "We did it!" Stefanik declared. "Wow, we did it again, I can't thank you enough!"

The congresswoman — who will be part of a new Republican minority come January — also thanked Cobb and Kahn for entering the race and taking part in a long, hard-fought campaign. "It takes a lot of courage to run for office in today's political climate and they deserve a round of applause," Stefanik said. "Tough campaigns make you a better candidate and a better representative."

The congresswoman pledged to work for all constituents in NY21, including those who didn't vote for her.

"I will work just as hard for you as for those who voted for me," Stefanik said. "My job is to represent everyone in this district."

In Canton, Cobb urged her backers to stay involved in politics — and to take inspiration from her underdog campaign.

Credit David Sommerstein / NCPR
Democrat Tedra Cobb thanked her large volunteer corps during her concession speech Tuesday in Canton.

"We changed the way campaigns are run in this district," Cobb said to big applause. "We built a community that cares about the district. We are of here, for here, and we have worked together to make this community better."

The Democrat also thanked her large roster of volunteers for help navigating a sprawling district and spreading the word to voters. "In the North Country, we always pave our own path and we do not give up," Cobb said. "I am not giving up either."

Speaking later, Cobb said she's definitely planning to run for office again in 2020: "I'm going!" She said she’ll remain visible in the North Country and will be watching Congresswoman Stefanik closely. "I’ll be talking about health care. I’ll be talking about the environment. I’ll be looking at her environmental votes. I think these next two years she’ll be held accountable," Cobb said.

David Sommerstein, a contributor from North Country Public Radio (NCPR), has covered the St. Lawrence Valley, Thousand Islands, Watertown, Fort Drum and Tug Hill regions since 2000. Sommerstein has reported extensively on agriculture in New York State, Fort Drum’s engagements in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the lives of undocumented Latino immigrants on area dairy farms. He’s won numerous national and regional awards for his reporting from the Associated Press, the Public Radio News Directors Association, and the Radio-Television News Directors Association. He's regularly featured on NPR's Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and Only a Game, and PRI’s The World.