The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee isn’t wasting any time taking down the presumed Republican front-runner in the race to replace Rep. Bill Owens, who surprised the political world on Tuesday when he announced that he would retire at the end of the year.

In an email blasted out to reporters Wednesday morning, the D-Trip tried to link Elise Stefanik to Rep. Paul Ryan and his attempts to turn Medicare into a voucher system.

“Paul Ryan and the Tea Party have made it clear they have their sights set on the North Country and Elise Stefanik will be their standard-bearer,” said DCCC spokesman Marc Brumer. “As a top national Republican operative, Elise Stefanik engineered the party’s extreme right wing platform that North Country voters rejected in 2012 and cost Paul Ryan the Vice Presidency.  Now Paul Ryan is doing everything he can to get his protégé Elise Stefanik elected because he knows she will help him the next time he tries to end Medicare as we know it and raise costs on seniors, just like she did in 2012.”

Stefanik is one of three Republicans who have already declared their intentions to run.

Up until Tuesday, Owens’ race was considered competitive, but there was a sense among Democrats that Owens would be able to hold on to the seat like he had in the past. Now Democrats, who already face an uphill battle to regain the House majority, find themselves scrambling to find a candidate that can win in a district that has a Republican enrollment advantage. It should be noted the district did vote for President Obama.

In response to the DCCC’s criticism of Stefanik, the National Republican Congressional Committee tried to tie the race to the GOP’s favorite bogeyman, Nancy Pelosi.

“Speaking of rubber stamps, the next time the DCCC cuts and pastes one of its generic press releases, they might want to actually consider the dynamics of the district and what people there are concerned about,” said NRCC spokesman Ian Prior. “Elsie Stefanik is a successful small businesswoman from a traditionally Republican district who understands the effect of job killing policies like the medical device tax that were forced on upstate New Yorkers the last time that Nancy Pelosi was Speaker of the House and Republican candidates like Elsie are trying to get to Congress to make sure that does not happen again.”