Tuesday primary voters’ guide

Tuesday’s Democratic primary pits two congressional candidates, John Avlon and Nancy Goroff, vying to run against Republican Rep. Nick LaLota in November. Also on the ballot are Sean Walter and William Condon, who are competing to run for Riverhead Town Justice on the Democratic party line.

This is Ms. Goroff’s second run for the 1st District seat in Congress; her first campaign, in 2020, pitted her against former Republican congressman Lee Zeldin. Mr. Avlon is a newcomer to the political stage.

Mr. LaLota was first elected in November 2022, winning the seat Mr. Zeldin had held since 2015. With his first term set to end in January 2025, both Democrats have their eyes set on turning this almost decade-long red seat blue.

Ms. Goroff taught at Stony Brook University for more than 20 years and chaired its chemistry department. She is president of the nonprofit Gallery North in Setauket and serves on the board of the Institute of Digital Media and Child Development, as well as the National Advisory Board of the Union of Concerned Scientists. She also helped launched the Long Island Strong Schools Alliance in 2021 after “three right-wing MAGA extremists” were elected to a Smithtown school board, she said at the time.

John Avlon is a former CNN commentator and prior editor-in-chief of The Daily Beast. He is also an author and presidential historian, according to his website. He was a speechwriter for former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani during his second term and in the aftermath of the 9/11 terror attacks. 

The Democratic hopefuls participated in a debate focussed on East End issues earlier this month hosted by the League of Women Voters of the Hamptons, Shelter Island and the North Fork, as well as the leagues of Brookhaven, Smithtown and Huntington. 

Mr. Walter, the incumbent candidate, is a former Riverhead Town Supervisor who was elected judge following the death of long-time Town Justice Allen Smith in 2020. He is also on the ballot on the Republican and Conservative party lines, so a win in Tuesday’s primary would effectively allow him to run unopposed in November.

Mr. Condon, a retired New York State Supreme Court justice who lives in Aquebogue, was endorsed by the Riverhead Democratic Party in May to run against Mr. Walter in Tuesday’s primary. He served on the state court for 14 years and is a past president of the New York State Association of Supreme Court Justices.

Details on specific area polling locations can be found here.