Elise Stefanik's district is in the 'front line' in the battle for the soul of America': ex-CIA officer
Matt Castelli / MSNBC screengrab.

After Democrats won a special election in a bellwether congressional district in upstate New York by focusing on abortion rights, the party's nominee in a bordering district is hoping energized women will retire the number three Republican in the House of Representatives.

"Several states have seen a surge in women registration to vote after the Supreme Court overturned Roe vs. Wade, with women on average making up 55% of new registrations post-Dobbs, compared to under 50% beforehand across ten states that analyzed by The New York Times," MSNBC's Ayman Mohyeldin reported. "And the increase offers rare concrete evidence that the Supreme Court decision has in fact galvanized voters, but particularly, female voters, the data gives little indication of whether the shift will be large enough or persistent enough to affect the outcome of the midterms."

Mohyeldin noted Democrats won a special election in New York's 19th congressional district on Tuesday and interviewed Matt Castelli, who is challenging Rep. Elise Stefanik, the chair of the House GOP Conference, in the neighboring 21st congressional district. Castelli is a former CIA officer who served in Afghanistan and Iraq and served as director of counterterrorism on Obama's National Security Council and stayed on for a year into the Trump administration before returning to the CIA.

"Democrat Pat Ryan won by hammering home the message protecting choice," Mohyeldin noted. "Your reaction to his win and how you see his results affecting your race?"

"The New York 19th race was, I think, a great signal for our race," Castelli replied. "Folks were looking at it as a potential bellwether for the midterms, I think it is also a bellwether for our race against congresswoman Elise Stefanik in upstate New York, in New York 21."

"So this is a good signal for our race, because we are turning our congressional race against Stefanik into one of the most important in the country. it is the front line against the battle for the soul of America," Castelli said. "The reason why this race is important is because Congresswoman Elise Stefanik is the messaging chief for the Republicans. Their message for the midterms is coming from her."

"She is the one who is leading the extremist war on women, despite being a woman herself," Castelli said. "We all know that the best way to combat this extremist threat is to show up and fight back."


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