If you are a Republican, how will you decide which candidate in the June 24 primary is best suited to represent the 21st Congressional District? On substantive issues, there is not much that separates Matt Doheny and Elise Stefanik.
Stefanik is well-educated. She attended an elite secondary school, Albany Academy, and an elite college, Harvard. However, her elitist training had nothing to do with preparing her for the family’s plywood business.
Stefanik’s business interest appears questionable since she was not a business major in college. Her Harvard experience clearly defines her interest: She was dreaming about politics, not plywood.
She was a government major at Harvard, vice president of the Institute of Politics and co-editor of the Harvard Crimson. Moreover, when Stefanik graduated from college, she sped off for Washington, not the Guilderland Center family business.
Stefanik may be infected with Potomac Fever, the intense desire to be associated with the power and prestige of the federal government. Not refuting power-broker Karl Rove’s attack ads on Doheny further demonstrates the extent of her fever.
On the positive side, however, Doheny is better suited to represent real people with real problems: no elite education, no questionable residence and no incompatible educational background. His business success personifies the American dream, success from humble beginnings. That is what sets Doheny apart from Stefanik.
Doheny’s political ambition only extends to representing us; nothing about him suggests otherwise. Stefanik, on the other hand, appears to have grander ambitions. We voters may merely be a steppingstone in the pursuit of her higher political ambitions.