Molinaro, Stefanik take seats in 118th Congress

Jan. 9—The area gained two new members of Congress on Saturday, Jan. 7, when the 118th Congress was sworn in after a protracted process of electing a speaker of the House of Representatives.

Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California, elected to the speaker's chair after 15 ballots, swore in his colleagues on Saturday.

Locally, redistricting changed Congressional district lines, and the resignation of Rep. Antonio Delgado to become New York's lieutenant governor left his seat in the 19th District open, paving the way for new representatives in the House.

Otsego County is now split between the 19th and 21st districts.

The towns of Milford, Oneonta, Hartwick, New Lisbon, Morris, Laurens, Butternuts, Unadilla, Otego, and Pittsfield's Election District 1 are in the 19th District, as are Chenango and Delaware counties and all or parts of Columbia, Greene, Ulster, Sullivan, Broome, Cortland, Tompkins and Tioga counties.

Marcus Molinaro, a Republican and former Dutchess County executive, won that seat in November's general election. He released a statement after Saturday's inauguration.

"I am humbled and honored to take the oath of office today and begin representing New York's 19th District in Congress," he said. "I have dedicated my adult life to public service. First as a village Mayor, then as a State Assemblyman, and most recently as County Executive. I view my new role in Congress as a continuation of my commitment to public service.

"Serving at all levels of local government, I have seen firsthand how Washington ignores the issues that matter most to our community. In Congress, I will ensure Upstate New York's voice is raised and as I have always done, work to deliver real results by bringing those with differing perspectives together."

He continued, saying, "It is the honor of a lifetime to serve Upstate New York in the People's House. While it took longer than I had hoped to be sworn in, this time has underscored the importance of working within my own party and across the aisle to get things done for the people of this district. My team and I are excited to get to work, and make a difference for our community."

Similarly, Schoharie County and northern Otsego County will have to get used to a new representative.

Pittsfield's Election District 2, and the towns of Edmeston, Burlington, Otsego, Middlefield, Westford, Maryland, Worcester, Decatur, Roseboom, Cherry Valley, Springfield, Richfield, Winfield, Plainfield and Exeter are in the 21st District, along with most of New York's North Country.

Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik, chair of the House Republican Conference, represents that area. She was first elected to Congress in 2014.

"Tonight, I proudly took the oath of office to continue representing New York's 21st District and bringing their concerns to the highest levels of government," Stefanik said in a Saturday media release. "I will work tirelessly to deliver real results for Upstate New York and the North Country.

"In this new Republican majority, I stand united with my colleagues to provide a critical check on the reckless policies of the Biden Administration and reverse the crises created by one-party Democrat rule in Washington by enacting House Republicans' Commitment to America," she said. "This Congress, we will work to deliver on those promises by creating an economy that is strong, a nation that is safe, a future built on freedom, and a government accountable to the people."