Polls show first-time candidate Elise Stefanik, a 30-year-old Republican, has a double-digit lead over her Democratic opponent, Aaron Woolf, in New York's 21st District. The current record for youngest woman went to Elizabeth Holtzman after she won a seat in the US House in 1973 at the age of 31.
Republicans are very excited for Stefanik's prospects, the Washington Post's the Fix explained:
You're likely to see a lot of her in upcoming years. Not only is she young, she's a Republican too — a cocktail that conservatives have tried to bottle and mass produce for years. Speaker of the House John Boehner and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy have both joined her on the trail, and American Crossroads and other outside groups have run ads in the race. But, the reasons for the Republican Party's excitement extends beyond Stefanik's youth. She knows how Washington works very well.
Before this year's election, Stefanik, a 2006 Harvard graduate, held a couple jobs in Republican politics: she helped craft the party's platform in 2012, and she worked as director of new media for former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty's presidential exploratory committee. She also worked for conservative think tanks Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Foreign Policy Initiative.
Stefanik, like many political candidates this year, has kept her positions notably vague, instead relying on President Barack Obama's unpopularity. But she has stated support for lower taxes, small businesses, and an "all-of-the-above" energy plan.
Correction: This story originally indicated that Elise Stefanik's opponent is Rep. Bill Owens, who is retiring. Her opponent is actually Aaron Woolf.