WATERTOWN, N.Y. -- The race for the North Country's 21st Congressional District has brought in some big name support over the last five years, including Bill Clinton, Joe Biden, Rudy Guliani to name a few, and now Paul Ryan.
The former vice presidential candidate was in Watertown Monday to show his support for Elise Stefanik as she battles Matt Doheny for the GOP nod in New York's North Country Congressional District.
As people made their way inside, the press stood outside as the media wasn't allowed to shoot video or talk to the Wisconsin congressman.
"I think we are getting the visibility because he spent time with his supporters who were so excited to turn out on a Monday afternoon at our event," Stefanik said of Ryan's visit and the lack of ability people will get to see them together on TV. "They were very excited to hear him speak and to hear his ringing endorsement of my candidacy. "
One of those inside was the Watertown mayor and Stefanik supporter Jeff Graham. He introduced Stefanik to the crowd and said Ryan was a great voice of support.
"He said that she was meticulous as far as intellectual matters, the work ethic and just had a great deal of insight into issues and so on," Graham said. "I thought it was a very convincing argument from someone who knows her quite well from a different setting than just the campaign trail."
Time Warner News cameras caught a very brief and glimpse of Ryan as he was saying goodbye to Stefanik outside the building. He then got in a car and was driven away.
"We're proud that our supporters and endorsers turned out," Stefanik said. "We had about 100 people today and we're really excited about all the momentum that's building for our campaign."
When Ryan left, the car he was in likely drove past a small group of about 20 protesters.
"I'm here to protest the Ryan budget," Luke Evans said. "Paul Ryan being here actually gives us a great opportunity to do it. His budget includes damaging cuts to Medicare and Social Security that will totally change those programs as we know it."
"I think it's important that we get out and get motivated and get ourselves seen as being in favor of what we're in favor of so that it proves that we are invested in our own futures," Ian Kinnie said.
The group is calling Ryan's budget plan an attack on the middle class. Stefanik served as Ryan's director of debate preps in 2012.
Also running in the 21st District are Doheny on the GOP side, Democrat Aaron Woolf and Green Party hopeful Matt Funiciello.