Rep. Tim Bishop may face Green Party candidate

A new congressional candidate, seeking the Green Party line, has emerged in the already crowded battle for Rep. Tim Bishop's First District seat.

Jason Strom, 34, of East Setauket, has filed by mail with the Suffolk Board of Elections petitions bearing 53 signatures to make himself eligible for the minor-party line. He needs at least 46 legitimate signatures to qualify. The party has only 948 voters in the district. Strom did not return calls for comment.

The Bishop campaign filed general objections Monday to the petitions. It has until Monday to make specific complaints.

Bishop said Strom is "obviously a sham candidate" aimed at siphoning votes from him. "It's hard to believe he's a serious candidate," Bishop added, noting that Strom did not register to vote until last month.

Meanwhile, Republican primary challenger George Demos joined state Sen. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) in declining to say Monday how he would have voted on the budget proposed last week by House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.).

"We have no comment," said Kevin Tschirhart, Demos' spokesman. "There is plenty of time for us to debate Mr. Bishop on many issues in the general election, including Obamacare." Ryan's budget, which would make $5.1 trillion in cuts over the next decade, was approved narrowly in the GOP-controlled House. Bishop (D-Southampton) opposed it, and it has little chance in the Democratic-controlled Senate.

Zeldin, in a telephone town hall meeting, told voters last week he could not "blindly endorse any type of budget . . . before I have an opportunity to read it." He was no more definitive Monday.

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