House Republicans on Friday elected Representative Elise Stefanik of New York, a vocal defender of former President Donald J. Trump, as their No. three chief, transferring swiftly to exchange Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming, who was deposed this week for her refusal to remain silent concerning the former president’s election lies.
The secret-ballot vote, which unfolded in a basement auditorium on the Capitol, was the fruits of a exceptional marketing campaign by Republicans to purge a vocal critic of Mr. Trump from their ranks, solidifying his grasp on the occasion and cementing a litmus take a look at for its leaders of dependable loyalty to the previous president.
Ms. Stefanik, 36, who campaigned as a practical reasonable when she was elected to Congress in 2014 and has typically crossed occasion traces to vote with Democrats, in latest years has turn out to be a strident ally of Mr. Trump. Republican leaders, citing her messaging self-discipline and fund-raising prowess, had successfully anointed her as Ms. Cheney’s successor even earlier than the Wyoming Republican, a staunch conservative, was voted out of management on Wednesday.
On Friday, Ms. Stefanik beat out Representative Chip Roy of Texas, an arch-conservative who had framed his candidacy as a protest in opposition to what he known as an ill-considered rush by House leaders to put in a Republican who didn’t symbolize the occasion’s core values. But she defeated his problem, by a vote of 134-46.
On the heels of House Republicans’ vote to drive Ms. Cheney out of management for her refusal to remain quiet about Mr. Trump’s false narrative of a stolen election, Ms. Stefanik’s ascendancy supplied a stark distinction. Unlike Ms. Cheney, she voted on Jan. 6 to invalidate electoral votes for President Biden, and in the months since has repeated a number of of Mr. Trump’s false claims of widespread voter fraud in the presidential election. She has additionally endorsed the Arizona election audit, a Republican-led endeavor that critics in each events have described as a blow to democratic norms and a political embarrassment.
In her first public remarks after the election, Ms. Stefanik pledged to take care of a spotlight “on unity” as convention chair, and thanked Mr. Trump, who had endorsed her candidacy a number of occasions from Mar-a-Lago and cheered her victory in an announcement moments after, calling him “a critical part of our Republican team.”
Asked if she believed Mr. Trump was the chief of the Republican Party, Ms. Stefanik mentioned: “I believe that voters determine the leader of the Republican Party, and President Trump is the leader that they look to. I support President Trump, voters support President Trump; he is an important voice in our Republican Party.”
Ms. Cheney, who was embarking on one thing of a media tour in the wake of her ouster, urgent her considerations about Mr. Trump and her occasion’s persevering with embrace of him, has criticized Republicans who perpetuate the falsehood that the election was illegitimate, noting that courts thought-about and rejected scores of challenges.
Ms. Stefanik had pledged to unite the convention as it tries to take again the bulk in the 2022 midterm elections, and billed herself as a messenger who wouldn’t make feedback that put members on the spot on points like election integrity, as Ms. Cheney had.
“My focus is on unity, because that’s what the American people, and that’s what our voters, deserve,” she mentioned on Friday.
Still, Ms. Stefanik has drawn some criticism from hard-right members of the convention who’ve questioned her conservative bona fides, noting that she had forged plenty of votes in the early days of Mr. Trump’s presidency opposing key features of his agenda, together with opposing his emergency declaration to construct a wall on the southern border and voting in opposition to his signature 2017 tax minimize invoice.
In the closed-door assembly on Friday, Representative Ken Buck of Colorado, a member of the Freedom Caucus and an in depth ally of Ms. Cheney’s, landed a jab at Ms. Stefanik as he rose to appoint Mr. Roy for the submit. Mr. Roy was a extra appropriate selection, Mr. Buck mentioned, in response to an individual aware of his remarks, since Republicans weren’t voting on which lawmaker was most certainly to affix “the Squad,” the high-profile foursome of congresswomen who’re among the many most liberal members of the House.