Rep. Tim Bishop's camp claimed victory Wednesday, citing the incumbent Southampton congressman's 3,400-vote lead over his challenger.

"We have a very solid margin," Brookhaven Democratic Chairman Jon Schneider said. "A quick glance at absentee votes tells you that they are predominately from the East End, which is Tim's home base."

Earlier, Bishop said he was cautiously optimistic he would survive a 16-month campaign challenge by St. James businessman Randy Altschuler to oust him from his East End congressional seat.

Altschuler was deciding his next step Wednesday afternoon.

As of 2:57 a.m., the Suffolk County Board of Elections showed Bishop (D-Southampton) leading Altschuler by a margin of about 3,400 votes - 92,252-88,791 - with 100 percent of the 460 election districts reporting.