Top Stories 2022: LaLota elected to Congress; Zeldin loses bid for governor

After serving in Congress since 2015, representing the 1st Congressional District, Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) decided not to run for reelection in a safe Republican district and instead run for governor. By midnight on election night, it was clear Mr. Zeldin had lost to his Democratic opponent, Gov. Kathy Hochul, but the district he left behind stayed in GOP hands with the election of Nick LaLota, who defeated Suffolk County Legislator Bridget Fleming.

Election results in Suffolk County were delayed due to a ransomware attack that forced the Board of Elections to alter how votes would be tallied. Mr. LaLota stepped to the podium to declare victory as the clock neared midnight. Mr. LaLota’s victory was helped along with the court-ordered resdistricting maps that reshaped the congressional district. The new maps, finalized in May, kept both North and South forks in the 1st district but extended the boundary to the western end of the county along the North Shore. A redesigned 2nd Congressional District was carved out of the South Shore of Suffolk County.

In January, Mr. LaLota, who promised “to bring responsible and transparent government back to Washington,” will join a GOP-majority House of Representatives. Mr. Zeldin’s political future is uncertain. He toyed with the idea of running to become the chairman of the Republican National Committee, but backed off on that idea, saying his chances of winning the job were slim.