Demos announcement frustrates Altschuler supporters

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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