Spin Cycle

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WASHINGTON - Rep. Lee Zeldin on Wednesday said he is off to a strong start in raising money for his re-election race next year, reporting that he raised $457,204 from January through March of this year, and that he now has $426,782 in the bank.

That respectable haul signals a big step up from his successful campaign in 2014 to represent the East End in the U.S. House — the Shirley Republican raised $1.8 million and spent nearly all of it from October 2013 through December 2014.

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At the end of last year Zeldin reported he had $46,808 in cash and $41,236 in debts, according to his filings with the Federal Election Commission.

In contrast, Tim Bishop, the six-term Democrat from Southampton that Zeldin defeated, reported he raised $3 million and spent $2.9 million, leaving $53,638 in the bank and no debts, Bishop’s filings show.

“Zeldin has received strong and rapidly growing support from the local community and across the country, which is evident by the strong fundraising numbers from this quarter,” said a statement from the Zeldin for Congress Campaign.

Zeldin has good reason to ramp up his fundraising quickly — the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is targeting him for defeat. Democrats, however, have not yet fielded a candidate.