Republican Eyes Hamptons House Seat (Video)
The candidate: Republican state Sen. Lee Zeldin
The member: Six-term Rep. Timothy H. Bishop, D-N.Y.
The district: New York’s 1st District. It covers the eastern half of Long Island, encompassing both working-class regions and the tony Hamptons. Bishop won re-election in 2012 by 5 points, as President Barack Obama carried the district by 1 point.
The candidate’s team: Brabender Cox (media); John McLaughlin of McLaughlin & Associates (polling); Majority Strategies (direct mail); Chapin Fay (campaign manager).
New York’s 1st District voters may feel a bit of déjá vu this year — again.
After two straight defeats of Republican businessman Randy Altschuler, Rep. Timothy H. Bishop, D-N.Y., could face another former Republican foe in 2014.
State Sen. Lee Zeldin challenged Bishop in 2008, losing by a 16-point margin. At the time, he was a 28-year-old political neophyte. Now, after serving in the state Senate, Zeldin says 2014 is a different ballgame.
“The environment was very different,” Zeldin said of his loss to Bishop. “There was a lot of stuff out of our control in 2008. President Obama was the man, coming into office, very popular. There was a little bit of fatigue with regards to the economy and Iraq and President Bush.”
He added, “For me as a candidate, I feel like I’ve grown a lot.”
Before Zeldin can face off against Bishop again, he must first defeat Republican attorney George Demos, who has also run for this seat before and shown a willingess to self-fund . Demos invested $1 million of his own money in the fourth quarter and ended the year with more than $2 million on hand. Zeldin had $307,000 as of Dec. 31.
When asked how he can compete with Demos’ financial advantage , Zeldin stressed that his campaign would focus on door knocking, online and print advertising, and social media. He added that he was prepared to go on TV to win the nomination. The primary is June 24.
This video interview series questions the scores of congressional hopefuls who visit the CQ Roll Call offices each cycle. Responses and questions have been edited and condensed. Have a question for a candidate? Follow us at @RollCallPols to learn about upcoming interviews.
Previous candidate interviews:
- Senate in Kansas: Republican Milton Wolf
- West Virginia’s 2nd: Republican Alex Mooney
- Georgia’s 1st District: Republican Bob Johnson
- Georgia’s 10th District: Republican Mike Collins
- Senate in Minnesota: Republican Julianne Ortman
- Georgia’s 10th District: Republican Donna Sheldon
- California’s 25th District: Democrat Lee Rogers
- Michigan’s 7th District: Democrat Pam Byrnes
- Nevada’s 3rd District: Democrat Erin Bilbray
- Illinois’ 13th District: Democrat Ann Callis
- Ohio’s 6th District: Democrat Jennifer Garrison
- Michigan’s 1st District: Democrat Jerry Cannon
- Montana’s At-Large District: Democrat John Lewis
- New York’s 23rd District: Democrat Martha Robertson
- Senate in North Carolina: Republican Thom Tillis
- Senate in Alaska: Republican Mead Treadwell
- Senate in South Carolina: Republican Lee Bright
- Senate in Iowa: Republican David Young
- Senate in Kentucky: Republican Matt Bevin
- Illinois’ 12th District: Republican Mike Bost
- Idaho’s 2nd District: Republican Bryan Smith
- Michigan’s 14th District: Democrat Rudy Hobbs
- California’s 45th District: Republican Mimi Walters
- Senate in Iowa: Republican Matt Whitaker
- Senate in Nebraska: Republican Shane Osborn
- Minnesota’s 6th District: Republican Tom Emmer
- Minnesota’s 6th District: Democrat Jim Graves
- Florida’s 2nd District: Democrat Gwen Graham
- Pennsylvania’s 13th District: Democrat Daylin Leach