Politics

Paul Ryan Endorses Candidate in Competitive New York House Race

House Budget Chairman Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin has endorsed Republican Elise Stefanik's bid to replace retiring Rep. Bill Owens, D-N.Y., in 2014.

“My friend Elise Stefanik is running for Congress to fight for hardworking families in upstate New York. She’s got the values and the work ethic to get the job done,” Ryan said in a Wednesday release. “She’s part of a new generation of leaders who will bring fresh ideas to Washington, and she has my full support.”

Stefanik, 29, a former aide to President George W. Bush, announced her challenge to Owens in this upstate New York district over the summer. But Owens announced Tuesday that he would retire, paving the way for a much more competitive race and boosting Stefanik's chances.

Stefanik, who directed Ryan's debate prep during 2012, when he was the GOP's candidate for vice president, could have company in the GOP primary. John James, who played Jeff Colby on the television show “Dynasty,” is eyeing a bid, according to a local report.

Democrats who could run for the seat include former state Agriculture Commissioner Darrel Aubertine, Town of Plattsburgh Supervisor Bernie Bassett and state Assemblywoman Addie Russell.

New York's 21st District is rated a Tossup by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call. President Barack Obama carried the district by a 6-point margin in 2012.