A new contender, David Pechefsky, has joined the scrum to challenge Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin for re-election next year — although Pechefsky hasn’t formally announced his candidacy and has not yet moved into the district.
Pechefsky, 49, this month filed his fist campaign finance report showing he has raised $170,813, including a $100,000 loan to the campaign from himself and his wife. He has spent $4,140.
Born and raised in Patchogue, the Democrat said he lives in Brooklyn but he and his wife are in contract to buy a house in Port Jefferson. Election rules only require that as candidate live in the state at the time of a congressional election.
Pechefsky’s fundraising is second to that of Perry Gershon, who changed his voting address from Manhattan to East Hampton last spring. Gershon has raised $506,579 and spent $95,165 for the race.
Third in fundraising is former Suffolk Legis. Vivian Viloria Fisher, who has raised $104,132, while scientist Elaine DiMasi has raised $54,478.
Term-limited Suffolk Legis. Kate Browning announced her candidacy earlier this month. She has yet to file a campaign finance report because she launched her candidacy after the deadline for the latest campaign filing.
Pechefsky said he is on leave from his job for the last two years at Generation Citizen, a national nonprofit that does civic education in city middle and high schools.
Pechefsky also worked for a decade for the New York City Council on housing issues.
Earlier, he had a job with the National Democratic Institute, helping set up a congressional budget office in Liberia and helping improve parliamentary operations in Somalia.
“I like my chances,” said Pechefsky. “I’m a candidate with local roots and substantial domestic and foreign policy experience.”