Elise Stefanik becomes youngest woman ever elected to Congress

Thirty-year-old Republican Elise Stefanik just became the youngest woman ever elected to Congress. The Associated Press reports that Stefanik defeated Democrat Aaron Woolf, securing the House seat vacated by Democrat Bill Owens in New York's 21st congressional district.

Stefanik had been rising in the polls after having spent months hitting the pavement, holding rallies and going door-to-door in what is geographically one of the largest districts east of the Mississippi.

As a "millennial" herself who won the GOP nomination at the tender age of 29 years old, Stefanik reaped the benefits of a year in which young voters who were expected to turn out at the polling places suggested a lean toward Republicans. She said she sees her youthful persona as boon and expects to use it to her advantage in the halls of Congress.

"I'm really interested in having a conversation with other new millennial candidates, hopefully, whether they're Republican or Democrat, about our nation's debt and spending - because my generation will inherit the spending," Stefanik said.

Part of that conversation is sure to include social media. Stefanik attended Harvard at the same time as Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and was one of Facebook's first users. She told CBS News, "One of my ideas is that we post every vote on Facebook and on social media, so that voters have an opportunity to hold their elected official accountable."

Stefanik also benefited from considerable support from the GOP establishment, which sees her as an appealing figure for the party. She developed close ties with Republicans during her time as an aide in the Bush White House and as policy director for the Republican National Committee.

She said she'll spend a good deal of time reaching across the aisle, telling CBS News, "I think there's an opportunity to work more effectively on a bipartisan basis on the big issues."

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