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09/09/17 5:40am
09/09/2017 5:40 AM

To date, four people are officially in the running to become the Democratic candidate for Congress in the fall 2018 elections, according to the Federal Elections Commission.

The winner of the Democratic nomination will likely challenge incumbent Republican Lee Zeldin of Shirley, who is, so far, the only Republican candidate to have formally established a campaign committees for a run for the Congressional seat, according to the FEC.

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06/24/14 9:37pm
06/24/2014 9:37 PM
State Senator Lee Zeldin, left, and primary opponent George Demos.

State Senator Lee Zeldin, left, and primary opponent George Demos.

In the race to see who will face off against incumbent Democrat Tim Bishop, state Sen. Lee Zeldin has defeated George Demos in the Republican primary.

The results, with 99 percent of districts reporting:

Name Votes
Lee Zeldin  9624
George Demos  5841

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee executive director Kelly Ward released the following statement after the race was called: “After a brutal and expensive race to the right that drove both Republicans far outside the mainstream, Long Islanders now have a clear choice to make between Tim Bishop, a tireless fighter for his district who has the backs of hardworking families, or Lee Zeldin, who is completely out of touch and would stack the deck in favor of special interests at the expense of the middle class.”

Mr. Zeldin and Mr. Demos did not return requests for comment on Tuesday night.

Mr. Zeldin, 34, is a New York state senator who lives in Shirley with his wife and two children. He’s also an attorney who spent four years of active duty in the U.S. Army, where he was deployed to Iraq in 2006 as a member of the 82nd Airborne Division. Since 2007, he has been a member of the Army Reserves and currently holds the rank of Major. He established his law practice in 2008.

Mr. Zeldin was elected to the state Senate in 2010, when the incumbent, Brian Foley, was the deciding vote in approving the MTA Payroll tax. Mr. Zeldin later voted against that measure, helping to overturn a large part of the tax.

Prior to running for state Senate, Mr. Zeldin opposed Mr. Bishop in 2008, his first run for public office, and Mr. Zeldin was defeated by a 58-42 percentage margin.

Mr. Zeldin has the support of the Suffolk County Republican Committee; Mr. Demos has launched a primary challenge.

Mr. Demos, 37, is an attorney who lives in Stony Brook with his wife and young son. He is a former U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Enforcement Attorney, where he worked from 2002 to 2009 prosecuting corporate fraud cases.

He has run Republican primaries against the Republican committee designee in each of the last two Congress races, losing both times to Randy Altschuler.

In 2012, he announced that he was withdrawing from the race that May, though his name remained on the primary ballot.

Over the past several months, Mr. Demos has taken aim at the party candidate on one specific issue, stating that Mr. Zeldin voted to “fully fund Obamacare.”

Mr. Zeldin’s campaign responded by stating that “the insurance exchange in New York State is 100 percent federally funded and was created by Governor Cuomo unilaterally in April 2012 after the New York State Senate Republicans, including specifically Senator Zeldin, blocked the 2012 legislation to implement Obamacare.”

03/10/14 6:00pm
03/10/2014 6:00 PM
Democrat, Congressman, New York

ROBERT O’ROURK FILE PHOTO | Congressman Tim Bishop.

The last time Congressman Tim Bishop ran for re-election, he did not have the support of the Independence Party, which instead went to his Republican opponent, Randy Altschuler.

This time, it’s back.

The Independence Party this week threw its support behind the 12-year incumbent Democrat from Southampton, after screening Mr. Bishop and Republican challengers Lee Zeldin and George Demos, who appear headed for a June 24 primary.

“We’re proud to endorse Tim Bishop,” said Frank MacKay, who heads the state and county Independence parties. “He’s done a wonderful job representing our area and we’re thrilled to have him.”

The Independence Party has endorsed Mr. Bishop in five of his seven elections, including his last race against Mr. Zeldin in 2008. They endorsed Mr. Altschuler in 2012 race against Mr. Bishop, but when the two faced off in 2010, they endorsed Mr. Bishop.

“The last time we went with Alschulter,” Mr. MacKay said. “We liked Randy and we like Tim, now we’re back with Tim. He’s a tireless worker for his constituents in the first Congressional District, and I see him in action on a daily basis.”

In the 2010 race against Mr. Altschuler, the Independence line appeared to play heavily into the outcome of the race, as Mr. Bishop won by just 593 votes and received 7,370 votes on the Independence line.

In the 2012 rematch, Mr. Bishop won by 13,875 votes without the Independence line, which garnered 4,953 votes for Mr. Altschuler.

The only other time Mr. Bishop did not have the Independence line was in 2002, when he was the challenger facing incumbent Republican Felix Grucci.

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10/07/13 1:00pm
10/07/2013 1:00 PM
COURTESY PHOTO | State Sen. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) will challenge incumbent Rep. Tim Bishop (D-Southampton) in 2014.

COURTESY PHOTO | State Sen. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) will challenge incumbent Rep. Tim Bishop (D-Southampton) in 2014.

State Senator Lee Zeldin, a Shirley resident who lost a 2008 run for Congress and has since served two terms in Albany, will be taking another run at six-time incumbent Congressman Tim Bishop (D-Southampton) next year, as the Republican has the support of party leaders for the 2014 congressional race.

Mr. Zeldin, 33, announced his candidacy on Monday morning, launching a website along with a video telling voters why he’s seeking higher office. He earned 41 percent of the vote in his 2008 run against Mr. Bishop, before defeating state Senator Brian X. Foley with 57 percent of the vote in 2010.

At a time when a large portion of the federal government is not functioning due to a political gridlock in Washington, D.C., U.S. Army Reserves major and former paratrooper states in the video that “we can end the era of fiscal insanity and D.C. dysfunction.”

But on Monday morning, Mr. Bishop laid the blame for the current impasse at the feet of a faction of the House Republicans, calling it a “manufactured crisis by the Tea Party wing of the Republicans, who have simply taken over.”

Mr. Zeldin will face George Demos in a primary next year. Mr. Demos, a former U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission lawyer, will be entering his third primary in the First Congressional District after earning just 13 percent of the vote in 2012, and coming in second place with 30 percent of the vote in 2010.

Mr. Bishop, who defeated Randy Altschuler in the last two election cycles, said on Monday morning, “It certainly looks as if Lee Zeldin and George Demos are going to have a very spirited primary. As of now, I’m 100 percent focused on doing my job, and look forward to facing whoever comes out of that primary.”

County Republican chairman John Jay LaValle said on Monday morning that Bishop will face his “first real challenge in public office” with the party-backed candidate in Mr. Zeldin, adding that no other candidates had been thoroughly considered to challenge Mr. Bishop.

He also pointed to a recent investigation by the House Ethics Committee into the incumbent congressman that could prove to benefit Mr. Zeldin’s run.

“When you’re running against an individual who has never served in public office, with no name recognition, that’s one race,” Mr. LaValle said. “It’s another race when individuals like Lee Zeldin – a sitting elected official – steps up.”

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06/02/12 1:29pm
06/02/2012 1:29 PM

COURTESY PHOTO | Mr. and Mrs. John Behan in a photo from his Facebook page.

Decorated U.S. Marine Corps veteran, former state assemblyman and former East Hampton Town Republican chairman John Behan of Montauk will make a major announcement next Monday about the race for Congress on eastern Long Island.

Mr. Behan is expected to endorse the incumbent, Democrat Tim Bishop, who nearly lost two years ago to Republican challenger Randy Altschuler, a businessman who is seeking the seat again this year. Mr. Behan says he will appear with Mr. Bishop to make his announcement at a press conference at La Bodega Restaurant at 752 Montauk Highway (on the Plaza) in Montauk at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, June 4.

Mr. Behan told the East Hampton Press he favored Mr. Bishop over Mr. Altschuler.

Mr. Behan represented the East End in the New York Assembly from from 1978 to 1995 and was a driving force behind the establishment of the Assembly’s Veterans Affairs Committee. A decorated Marine Corps veteran who was severely wounded in combat operations in Vietnam, Behan served as director of the New York State Division of Veterans’ Affairs from 1995 to 1998.