The Democratic primary is still several months away, but local Democrats are already getting to know the prospective candidates who will mount a run against two-term Republican Congressman Lee Zeldin in September.
The Southold Democratic Committee will host a forum for the six prospective candidates for New York’s First Congressional District on Saturday morning at the Hellenic Snack Bar & Restaurant in East Marion. Although it is already sold out, those interested can log onto Facebook, where it will be streamed live on the committee’s Facebook page.
This is one of three candidates’ forums planned on the North Fork this month alone. Others have and will be held elsewhere in the county.
“They’re on a circuit for sure,” said Kathryn Casey Quigley, the chairwoman of the Southold Town Democrats.
“We sold out our tickets a week ago,” she said. “There’s a lot of eagerness for people to see these candidates and get some face time with them and get to know them.”
The prospective candidates are Suffolk County Legislator Kate Browning of Shirley; Elaine DiMasi of Ronkonkoma, who worked as a Brookhaven National Laboratory physicist; Perry Gershon, a businessman who has worked in commercial real estate finance and lives in East Hampton; Brendon Henry, a bartender, Westhampton native and Center Moriches resident; David Pechefsky a New York City Council staffer, who hails from Patchogue, but lives in Brooklyn, and Vivian Viloria-Fisher of Setauket, who served as a county legislator until she reached her term limit in 2011.
Bruce Gordon Miller Jr. has entered the race recently, as well, according to Federal Election Commission filings.
Attendees on Saturday, starting at 9 a.m., will have a chance to mingle with the candidates for about 20 minutes before the candidates will get to formally introduce themselves to the group, followed by a Q&A with questions that were submitted by attendees in advance.
On Thursday, Feb. 15, the Indivisible Patriots of Long Island are hosting a meet the candidates night at 7 p.m. in the Westhampton Room in the main building at East Wind Catering in Wading River. There is no charge to attend. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
Then, on Monday, Feb. 26, the East End Dem Women have organized a debate on women’s equality and reproductive health. The location will be provided with the RSVP, according to Jennifer Maertz, the chairwoman of the EEDW. The doors open at 5:30 p.m., with the debate starting at 6:15. Admission is free.
As of Friday, Mr. Pechefsky, Mr. Gershon, Ms. Viloria-Fisher, Ms. DiMasi, and Mr. Henry have agreed to participate, Ms. Maertz said.
RSVPs can be sent to [email protected]