Former CIA official announces bid to oust Elise Stefanik from House

Former CIA official announces bid to oust Elise Stefanik from House
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A former CIA officer announced a 2022 campaign to unseat Rep. Elise Stefanik from her position representing New York's 21st Congressional District.

Matt Castelli, a Democrat, posted a video to declare his candidacy, accusing Stefanik of betraying her oath to protect the Constitution during the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol when Trump supporters swarmed the building as lawmakers certified President Joe Biden's victory.

“It hasn't been lost on me that Congresswoman Elise Stefanik and I took the same oath to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic," Castelli said in his announcement on Wednesday. "But it's clear to me, and countless other Americans, that she violated her oath that day. And in the weeks and months that followed."

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Stefanik has served in Congress since 2015. She made headlines for defending former President Donald Trump during the Capitol riot-focused impeachment proceedings earlier this year. Additionally, she was chosen by her Republican colleagues this spring to replace Rep. Liz Cheney, a Trump critic, as the new House Republican Conference chairwoman.

Castelli further accused Stefanik, the third-ranking Republican in the House, of seeking to divide the nation for "her own personal gain." He also compared the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to the Capitol riot — an assertion Stefanik's senior adviser, Alex DeGrasse, described as "disgraceful."


Castelli served nearly 15 years in the CIA and worked as director for counterterrorism at the National Security Council from 2016 to 2018. He also served as a counterterrorism official in the White House under Trump and former President Barack Obama.

In 2020, he left the government to join a veteran-founded technology company called Unite Us that seeks to eliminate barriers to healthcare for veterans, rural communities, and minorities.

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Other people vying for the Democratic nomination include former speed skater Bridie Farrell, upstate New York attorney Matt Putorti, and climate-focused liberal Ezra Watson.

Republican Lonny Koons is also running against Stefanik for the Republican nomination.

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Tags: News, Elise Stefanik, Congress, House GOP, CIA

Original Author: Misty Severi

Original Location: Former CIA official announces bid to oust Elise Stefanik from House

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