Several Democrats are gearing up to challenge Republican Congressman Lee Zeldin in New York’s 1st Congressional District. The East End of Long Island constituency is a swing district that has flipped back and forth between Republicans and Democrats since the 1950s.
Kate Browning is the latest candidate to announce. She’s been a Suffolk County legislator for 12 years as a member of the Working Families Party. She is seeking the Democratic Party nomination for Congress. Browning used to be a bus driver who struggled to make ends meet.
“I’ve continually tried to make a focus of the people who are living paycheck to paycheck and the struggles that they deal with every single day. I do believe this is something that Mr. Zeldin doesn’t recognize.”
Perry Gershon is an entrepreneur who opened a sports bar when he was 23 and co-founded a real estate finance firm. The former Manhattanite says he decided to run for Congress following the election of President Donald Trump. He says he wants to protect jobs, healthcare and the environment.
“In the aftermath of the 2016 election, I felt compelled to do something to fight back against the election of Donald Trump and what he represents and Lee Zeldin being a major part of that.”
Vivian Viloria Fisher served in the Suffolk County Legislature for 13 years. A former teacher, she says Zeldin has been a reliable supporter of Trump and his policies. Fisher says she’s running to be a check on the President.
“I would protect our environment, I would develop here the synergy that we need between environmental protection and job creation: to move forward and not backward.”
Patchogue native David Pechefsky, a senior advisor for the nonprofit Generation Citizen and a former New York City Council staffer, said he wants to see better public policy coming out of the 1st District. “We need to have an economy that works for everyone. We need to have a foreign policy that is led by diplomacy so we can invest our resources in human and physical infrastructure.”
Other declared candidates in the race include Elaine DiMasi, a former Brookhaven National Lab physicist, and bartender Brendon Henry.
Meanwhile, Representative Zeldin's office released the following statement: "While at least a half dozen Democratic Party candidates spend the next year trying to out liberal each other for the Democratic Party designation, Congressman Zeldin will remain completely focused working harder than anyone else to deliver positive results to grow our economy, protect our security, and improve in many other ways our community, state, and nation. The Congressman remains focused on securing even more important victories for our local area."