(USA Features) Republicans on Friday formally elected Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York to replace Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming after they ousted her from post as head of the House Republican Conference on Wednesday.
Reports noted that House Republicans chose Stefanik, 36, over last-minute challenger Rep. Chip Roy, R-Tex., by a vote of 134-46, as 9 members voted “present” and 3 chose a write-in candidate.
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Stefanik’s path to the House GOP’s No. 3 position was all but guaranteed after she secured the endorsement of former President Donald Trump and the backing of GOP leaders including Kevin McCarthy of California and Steve Scalise of Louisiana.
“Congratulations to Elise Stefanik for her Big and Overwhelming victory!” Trump said in a post-vote statement. “The House GOP is united and the Make America Great Again movement is Strong!”
Speaking to reporters after the vote, Stefanik thanked Trump and GOP leaders for their support.
“I believe that voters determine the leader of the Republican Party, and President Trump is the leader that they look to,” she said, per CNN. “I support President Trump, voters support President Trump. He is an important voice in our Republican Party.”
In a statement, Stefanik pledged to unify the party in its opposition to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and her party’s increasingly left-wing politics.
“I’m truly honored and humbled to earn the support of my colleagues to serve as House Republican Conference Chair,” said Stefanik. “House Republicans are united in our focus to fight on behalf of the American people to save our country from the radical Socialist Democrat agenda of President Biden and [House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi.
“The American people are experiencing an economic crisis due to Far-Left radical policies,” she added. “House Republicans will continue to put forth policies focused on growing our economy and getting people back to work, reopening our schools, promoting American energy independence, securing our border, strengthening our national security, and protecting our Constitution.”
Cheney, 54, who voted to impeach Trump following the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, continued to attack him even after he left office, while also pushing back on her party’s embrace of the former president’s ‘America First’ agenda, which led to her ouster.