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.”

06/23/14 8:00am
06/23/2014 8:00 AM
State Senator Lee Zeldin, left, and primary opponent George Demos.

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

They’ve been slamming each other in campaign advertisements for weeks, with each linking the other to Nancy Pelosi, former Speaker of the House, in one form or another. And come Tuesday, Republican voters will decide whether Lee Zeldin or George Demos will be their candidate to oppose incumbent Congressman Tim Bishop (D-Southampton) in the fall.  (more…)

05/28/14 8:00am
05/28/2014 8:00 AM
Republican candidates for Congress, Lee Zeldin (L) and George Demos. (Credit: LI News Radio)

Republican candidates for Congress, Lee Zeldin (L) and George Demos. (Credit: LI News Radio)

The two candidates for the Republican congressional nomination next month faced off in a debate last Friday on Long Island News Radio, tackling issues such as illegal immigration, veterans’ health, unemployment benefits, Ukraine, and other issues.  (more…)

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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02/17/14 10:00am
02/17/2014 10:00 AM
State Sen. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley), shown here, will challenge incumbent Rep. Tim Bishop (D-Southampton) in 2014. (Courtesy file photo)

State Senator Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley), pictured above, will challenge incumbent Rep. Tim Bishop (D-Southampton) in November. (Courtesy file photo)

Some familiar faces will be looking for the Republican nod for Congress this fall, with the winner getting a shot at longtime incumbent Democrat Tim Bishop.

(more…)

08/08/11 3:47pm
08/08/2011 3:47 PM

JENNIFER GUSTAVSON FILE PHOTO | Randy Altschuler was all smiles when he won the GOP primary for New York's FIrst Congressional District in 2010. Now one of his opponents, George Demos, is saying he wants to give Altschuler another run for the Rpublican nod in 2012.

George Demos, a former Shelter Island part-time resident who unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination to challenge Democratic Congressman Tim Bishop in 2010, is running again. He announced his candidacy for the 2012 nomination on Monday.

Republican and Conservative party leaders almost immediately responded with announcement reaffirming their support for Randy Altschuler, who won the nomination last year and went on to lose to Mr. Bishop by 593 votes out of nearly 200,000 in November.

“We need to learn from last year’s mistakes and not let divisions within our own party allow Tim Bishop to sneak back into office again,” said County GOP Chairman John Jay LaValle. “Our country is in the midst of a severe economic and fiscal crisis and we need a business leader like Randy Atlschuler in Washington to fix it.”

“America’s hour of truth has arrived,” Mr. Demos said in announcing his candidacy. “Do we believe in freedom or the tyranny of big government?”

He drew 30 percent of the vote in the three-way GOP primary last September, with Mr. Altschuler taking 46 percent and Chris Cox, a resident of Westhampton Beach, taking 23 percent.

A former Securities and Exchange Commission attorney, Mr. Demos says he has dedicated his entire career to fighting corporate fraud and crime on behalf of the American people. On his campaign website, where he describes himself as a lifelong member of the Shelter Island community and a resident of Brookhaven.

“George Demos claims to be a conservative but after his announcement today he might as well be on Tim Bishop’s payroll,” said Conservative Party Chairman Ed Walsh. “The fact of the matter is that Demos can’t win this race and he knows it. The only thing his candidacy does is make it easier for a job-killing liberal like Bishop to get re-elected. He has zero support within the Conservative Party and if he cared at all about defeating Bishop he would get out of the race.”

“I’ll be blunt. We can’t afford a primary and should be united with a single goal in mind — defeating a tax and spend liberal incumbent and electing Randy Altschuler to Congress,” said Brookhaven Town Republican Chairman Jesse Garcia.

“Today’s announcement by George Demos has no impact on our strategy moving forward,” said Altschuler spokesman Chris Russell.

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