Lee Zeldin (left) and George Demos are facing off in a Republican primary for the First Congressional District on June 24.
Lee Zeldin (left) and George Demos faced off in a Republican primary for the First Congressional District yesterday.

New York State Senator Lee Zeldin handily won the Republican primary for the First Congressional District Tuesday night, taking 62 percent of the vote over former SEC prosecutor George Demos’s 38 percent.

He will now face off against five-term incumbent Congressman Tim Bishop of Southampton in the Nov. 4 election.

Mr. Zeldin, in his second term in the State Senate, is a Shirley resident and attorney who served as a paratrooper in the Iraq war and is now a major in the Army Reserves. He has twin daughters who both attend the William Floyd public school district.

Mr. Demos, who keeps a residence in Holbrook but has often been criticized for his lack of ties to the district, has waged several Republican primaries for this seat, leading Mr. Zeldin to criticize in a recent debate that “my opponent doesn’t own a home here and he hasn’t earned a dollar in four years. He is desperate.”

Mr. Zeldin added that Mr. Demos’s only connection to the First Congressional District is the Midtown Tunnel.

Mr. Demos has been on a spending spree in recent months, blanketing the airwaves with attack ads claiming Mr. Zeldin supports Obamacare and wants to raise taxes.

Mr. Zeldin voted for the state budget, which contained funding for the health care exchanges of the Affordable Care Act, but the exchanges were created through an executive order by Governor Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat.

At his campaign headquarters in Center Moriches last night, Mr. Zeldin told News 12 that “the voters of the First Congressional District want to have a debate this summer and fall about the best path forward for our country. Our congressman currently representing us, we have a different opinion on the best path forward. Our president really needs a check and balance in Congress.”

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 editor@eastendbeacon.com

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