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Long IslandColumnistsRick Brand

Lee Zeldin draws another possible Democratic challenger

Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin has drawn another possible

Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin has drawn another possible Democratic challenger. Photo Credit: Ed Betz

Suffolk Democrats have yet another potential challenger to Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin next year — a Stony Brook University emergency medicine physician.

Viral Patel, 37, previously was registered to vote in Manhattan, but on May 25 registered in East Hampton. Last week, he met Richard Schaffer, Suffolk Democratic chairman, to express interest in the race, but has not made a final decision to run, according to the party leader.

Schaffer said Patel has “a very impressive background and seems to have a good understanding of the issues — particularly health care . . . ”

Patel joins Perry Gershon, who recently moved his voting address to his East Hampton vacation home, Suffolk County Legis. Kate Browning, Assemb. Fred Thiele and former county Legis. Vivian Viloria-Fisher in the hunt for the Democratic nomination.

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