Republican congressional candidate Elise Stefanik announced her campaign raised more than $250,000 in 2013, as she was laying the groundwork to run in the 21st Congressional District.

Details will be reported on a campaign finance report due Jan. 31.

A week ago, this would not have been huge news, as she was trailing incumbent U.S. Rep. Bill Owens, D-Plattsburgh, who had $447,930 in his campaign fund, as of Oct. 31, and continued raising funds in the fourth quarter.

Owens announced Tuesday he will not seek re-election.

Now Stefanik has a sprinting head start on any Democratic or new Republican candidates entering the race -- unless new candidates entering the race are wealthy and willing to spend their own money. 

Stefanik also announced key appointments to her campaign team,

Christina Sofia-Comar, president of CSC Capital LLC, of Saratoga County, is fund-raising consultant.

Sofia-Comar’s clients have included U.S. Rep. Chris Gibson, R-Kinderhook, 2013 New York City mayoral candidate George McDonald, 2006 GOP gubernatorial candidate John Faso, and former New York City Mayor Rudolph Guiliani, according to The Daily News Daily Politics blog.

IMGE is assisting the campaign with its social networking and online marketing.

The Alexandria, Va.-based firm’s clients include the National Republican Senatorial Committee and the Republican Governors Association, according to the firm’s website.

Stefanik, a businesswoman and former White House policy adviser from Willsboro, is one of three declared candidates seeking the Republican nomination in the 21st District, where the seat will be open because U.S. Rep. Bill Owens, D-Plattsburgh, is not seeking reelection.

The other candidates are Joseph Gilbert, a U.S. Army major and tea party leader from St. Lawrence County, and Michael Ring, a broadcast engineer and political activist from Jefferson County.

State Sen. Elizabeth Little, R-Queensbury, said Friday she is considering entering the race.

Republican leaders have said Matt Doheny, the Republican candidate in 2010 and 2012, is considering entering the race.

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