Rep. Elise Stefanik didn't hesitate when asked Wednesday if she would like former President Donald Trump to play a role in the coming midterm elections in New York next year.
"Absolutely," she said during a stop at an early evening fundraiser for Rensselaer County Executive Steve McLaughlin. "I think President Trump is an asset to Republicans on the ballot, it’s important to remember that with the president on the ballot he earned more votes than any other Republican in New York since Ronald Reagan.”
Stefanik is a vocal ally of the former president and rose through the ranks this year among House Republicans, unseating Trump critic Rep. Liz Cheney to become the No. 3 lawmaker in the GOP caucus.
Trump, meanwhile, is closely watching the politics in New York, Stefanik said.
Trump's involvement in New York campaigns could help some Republicans drive up turnout in House districts that will likely play a vital role in which party controls the narrowly divided chamber. Beyond turnout, Trump and his surrogates could also aid in fundraising in close races.
But much remains up in the air for many House seats in New York given the pending redistricting process for state and federal legislative seats.
On a statewide basis, the opposite will likely be the case: Democratic candidates may try to once again nationalize the stakes facing New York, and the former president has been a potent means of turning out Democrats.
Trump, like every Republican running for president for the last 30 years, lost New York in 2020. But he remains popular with the base of the party, even in a deep blue state, and he has pockets of support in the state's Republican areas where the party will need to boost votes in order to remain competitive.
In the race for governor, Rep. Lee Zeldin has been given "presumptive" nominee status by the state Republican Committee Chairman Nick Langworthy and has picked up the bulk of the endorsements from county leaders in the party.
Zeldin faces a likely June primary against Rob Astorino, Andrew Giuliani, Mike Carpinelli and Derrick Gibson.
For now, Stefanik is yet to endorse in the race for the Republican gubernatorial nomination but said she plans to.
“I’m really proud that the counties in my district have supported Lee Zeldin, I’ve served with him since 2014. We have a lot of great candidates who are running," she said. "I will make an endorsement in the race.”