Nancy Goroff has won the Democratic nomination and will face Republican incumbent Lee Zeldin in the November general election for the East End’s First Congressional District.

Ms. Goroff, who left her seat as chemistry chair at Stony Brook University to run for office, announced Thursday morning that she had won the primary by a margin of 630 votes with 17,905 votes, compared to 17,275 for real estate financier Perry Gershon and 13,696 for Suffolk County Legislator Bridget Fleming.

In all, 14,576 ballots were cast in-person in early voting and on the June 23 primary date, with 36,123 absentee ballots mailed in by voters in an unprecedented vote-by-mail effort encouraged by New York State in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

“I am honored to have earned the support of thousands of Democratic voters across New York’s First District, and to have earned the Democratic nomination to take on Lee Zeldin,” said Ms. Goroff on Thursday. “I got into this race last July because as a scientist, leader at Stony Brook University, and Suffolk County mom, I could not sit idly by as Zeldin consistently chooses hyperpartisan spin over science and over the needs of our community. Now more than ever, we need a change in leadership in NY-01. I am deeply grateful to the Democratic voters of this district for giving me the chance to take on Lee Zeldin and, hopefully, represent our district in Washington.”

“This has been a substantive and spirited Primary Election, and I congratulate my opponents, Perry Gershon and Bridget Fleming, on running exceptional campaigns,” she added. “This year, NY-01 experienced record turnout of over 49,664 voters, more than twice that of the 2018 Primary. This wave of enthusiasm is a testament to the strength of each of our candidates, our supporters, and the overwhelming energy in Suffolk County to earn better representation for our community. Perry and Bridget are smart, talented, and good-hearted leaders who inspired thousands through their efforts, and to accomplish our shared goal of defeating Zeldin, we will need their help and that of their many supporters.”

Mr. Zeldin highlighted his own bipartisan projects in a statement on the Democratic primary Thursday afternoon, but also cast his campaign in stark terms echoing those expressed recently by President Donald Trump.

“America is at a crossroads, with many in our country pushing to ‘defund, ‘disband’, ‘dismantle’, or ‘abolish’ our police departments, institute a federal government takeover of our healthcare system, implement a disastrously flawed ‘Green New Deal’, and raise our taxes the likes of which we’ve never seen. We can’t let that happen,” said Mr. Zeldin. “Throughout my 17 years of service in our nation’s military, I’ve witnessed firsthand the dedication of so many selfless individuals who have put their lives on the line to defend our freedoms – we need more of that.”

“I will continue a laser focus on our economy, cutting taxes and growing jobs, increasing healthcare access and affordability, ensuring Long Islanders have clean air and clean water, protecting America’s safety and security at home and abroad, supporting our first responders and veterans, and stopping radical policies and other costly pursuits that would harm the families of Long Island,” he added.

“After three terms, it is clear that Lee Zeldin has let us down. Time after time, he has voted and advocated against our healthcare, our environment, our safety, and so much more,” said Ms. Goroff in her victory statement. “And now, as Suffolk County families figure out how to manage the all-encompassing health and economic consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic, Zeldin has once again shown that he is more interested in defending President Trump’s political interests than the people he has been elected to represent. We deserve better than a fourth term of Lee Zeldin.”

“Now more than ever, as we work to address the unique health and environmental issues of our time, we need leaders who will study the data and make decisions by putting people over politics. It is past time that scientists have a seat at the table,” she added. “As a Stony Brook chemist and somebody who has built my family and career here in the town of Brookhaven, I promise to lead guided by relying on the best evidence and by keeping the needs of our community in my heart.”

Ms. Fleming conceded the primary race Thursday afternoon.

“I’m proud of the campaign we ran,” she said. “We put together a remarkable grassroots campaign in a very short amount of time and a lot of that was fueled by energy and activism from voters within my Second Legislative District. I have called Nancy Goroff to congratulate her and I look forward to supporting her as the Democratic nominee in the November election against our common foe Lee Zeldin — an absentee Congressman who cares more about Donald Trump’s adoration than he does the people of the First Congressional District.”

Beth Young
Beth Young is an award-winning local journalist who has been covering the East End since the 1990s. She began her career at the Sag Harbor Express and, after receiving her Masters from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, has reported for the Southampton Press, the East Hampton Press and the Times/Review Media Group. She founded the East End Beacon website in 2013, and a print edition in 2017. Beth was born and raised on the North Fork. In her spare time, she tinkers with bicycles, tries not to drown in the Peconic Bay and hopes to grow the perfect tomato. You can send her a message at

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