No. 8 Story of the Year: After 12 years, Bishop is bounced

12/25/2014 8:00 AM |
Congressman Tim Bishop concedes to Republican challenger Lee Zeldin at the Suffolk County Democratic gala at the Islandia Marriot on Election night. (Credit: Robert O'Rourk)

Congressman Tim Bishop concedes to Republican challenger Lee Zeldin at the Suffolk County Democratic gala at the Islandia Marriot on Election night. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk)

It was the year of the Republicans in Congressional midterms and other elections across the U.S.

The outcome of New York’s First Congressional District race proved to be no exception, as 12-year Democratic incumbent Tim Bishop of Southampton lost his re-election bid by a whopping 10 percentage points to state Senator Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley).

In September, a Newsday/News 12/Siena College Poll indicated that the incumbent had a comfortable 10 percentage point lead, but Mr. Zeldin was shown to have made great strides in a Newsday/News 12/Siena College poll that was published 10 days before Election Day. At that point, Mr. Zeldin was leading 50 to 45 percent among likely voters, with 5 percent undecided. The more recent poll proved to be more accurate.

While Mr. Bishop of Southampton was able to survive 2010’s Republican/Tea Party groundswell against carpetbagger and outsourcer magnate Randy Altschuler — who Mr. Bishop went on to handily defeat in 2012 — Mr. Zeldin, a combat veteran and sitting elected office-holder, proved too much for the Democrats and their ailing party.

Mr. Zeldin made his campaign not only against Mr. Bishop but a president suffering from low approval ratings,and as-usual politics in Washington. Speaking of his own victory and those of fellow Republicans on election night, Mr. Zeldin said the results would bring “much-needed checks and balances on [the president].”

“The one-house bills the Republicans used to pass are now going to Barack Obama’s desk,” he said.

Mr. Bishop said the heavy turnout of Republicans across Suffolk County helped do him in.
“Tonight, I think the fact that [Republican challenger for governor] Rob Astorino carried Suffolk County — I think that tells you just how tough the climate was.”

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