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Stefanik domain names raise questions

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Privately registered domain names suggest potential U.S. Senate and presidential campaigns by U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-Willsboro.

Four domain names — eliseforsenate.com, stefanikforsenate.com, eliseforpresident.com and stefanikforpresident.com — were registered through private domain registrar services at various times in the last several years.

The domain names were first noted by Twitter user NY21 Watchdog a couple of days ago.

But in a statement sent to the Times Friday, Stefanik spokesman Leonardo Alcivar denied that the domains were registered by anyone in Stefanik’s camp, adding that the addresses could have been registered by opponents looking to hurt her re-election chances.

“Desperate attempts from desperate candidates and their partisan allies to smear Elise with false political attacks are not new,” he said. “Congresswoman Stefanik ran on always placing the people of the 21st District first. That is why, in the face of similarly false attacks from previous political opponents, our district has overwhelmingly supported the congresswoman’s bipartisan record of real results, it is why she recently won re-election by over 30 points, and it is why she will continue her fight for every family and every small business across the North Country.”

A WHOIS search for the web addresses show that three of the domains were registered through a Domains by Proxy company based in Arizona. The service, which has a partnership with domain registrar GoDaddy, allows private registration for a domain name so contact information cannot found by internet users. Registration information for the fourth domain, eliseforsenate.com, was blocked by WHOIS’s own contact privacy service.

Interestingly, stefanikforsenate.com was registered in January 2010, according to WHOIS. Stefanik was 26 at the time (you need to be 30 years old to run for Senate), and this was three years before Stefanik’s first campaign for the NY21 seat in the House of Representatives. That campaign website, eliseforcongress.com, was registered in 2013.

Another domain name, stefanikforpresident.com, was registered in July of 2014, months before she secured her first term as representative for the 21st district.

There are seven Democratic candidates running for their party’s nomination in the 21st district race next year: Patrick F. Nelson, Katie K. Wilson, Tedra L. Cobb, Emily Martz, Donald G. Boyajian, Ronald Kim and, most recently, Tanya Boone.

Republican candidate Russell J. Finley will challenge Stefanik in a primary for the Republican Party nod.

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