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Katko supports Stefanik for potential leadership position in Congress

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U.S. Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) said on Friday that Congresswoman Liz Cheney is a good friend of his, but if she is no longer in the GOP conference chair position, he will throw his support behind North Country Rep. Elise Stefanik.

“If something happens with Liz, and that remains to be seen, but if it does, and (Stefanik) puts her name in the ring, I absolutely will support her,” Katko said Friday.

Former President Donald Trump and other top Republican leaders have been calling for Cheney’s removal from the number three GOP position in the U.S. House of Representatives, and are throwing their support behind Stefanik. 

Cheney faced criticism from her most pro-Trump colleagues for voting in favor of impeaching former President Trump and voting to certify the election results. Katko also voted with Cheney on those issues, but he said he thinks Stefanik understands for the GOP to take control of the House, there has to be a variety of different Republicans.

“I have a different type of district than a lot of conservatives,” said Katko. “I have the most liberal district in the country, and she knows if we ever want to be back in control of the Congress again, people like me have to win.”

Katko added, “If there is a vacancy that’s developed, I have every confidence that Elise will be a superb leader for all of our conference, not just some.”

Cheney has refused to back down, warning her colleagues in a Washington Post opinion essay that “history is watching,” and the Republican party is at a turning point. 

A vote to remove Cheney from her leadership position in the House could happen as early as next week.

Jessica Cain is a freelance reporter for WRVO, covering issues around central New York. Most recently, Jessica was a package producer at Fox News in New York City, where she worked on major news events, including the 2016 presidential conventions and election. Prior to that, she worked as a reporter and anchor for multiple media outlets in central and northern New York. A Camillus native, Jessica enjoys exploring the outdoors with her daughters, going to the theater, playing the piano, and reading.