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First-term state Sen. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) seems so assured of defeating Democrat Frank Genco in November he’s spending time and money to help elect other new Republican members, through his Next Generation Leadership NY PAC, launched with $50,000 from his own campaign fund.
As if countering Albany insiders’ longtime caricature of the GOP caucus as a geriatric club, the PAC backs, for Senate, Assembly members Phil Boyle, 51, of Bay Shore; George Amedore, 43, of Rotterdam; and Sean Hanna, 50, of Mendon; plus developer Bob Cohen, 58, of Westchester; and City Councilman Eric Ulrich, 27, of Queens. The PAC plans an Oct. 18 luncheon fundraiser for all five.
On Friday, Zeldin, 32, said, “For us, this is a great opportunity to give back,” since in 2010 some of his current Senate colleagues were “very generous with their time, with financial contributions to my committee, encouragement on the phone, or coming to the district to volunteer. It meant a lot to me as a candidate.”
He talked about keeping a “balance of power” including a GOP Senate that working with others “have been able to secure a number of fiscal victories for the state.”
As for members' ages, he said, “I think it's important to always inject fresh ideas and new leadership at every level of government. Nothing can replace the institutional knowledge and experience” of mentors such as Sen. Charles Fuschillo, he said. He talked about the impact of current decisions on future generations.