The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee on Tuesday named Jackie Gordon a top-tier candidate in her bid for retiring U.S. Rep. Peter King’s seat, giving her access to fundraising support, staff resources and campaign training.
The DCCC — the official campaign arm of U.S. House of Representatives Democrats — announced Gordon was one of a dozen candidates to make the first round of its Red to Blue program. The program aims to flip Republican districts through providing support to targeted candidates.
“No one will work harder to flip this district than Jackie,” chairwoman Cheri Bustos said in a statement. “She is ready to win and be an independent voice on behalf of Long Island in Congress.”
Gordon, of Copiague, is one of nine candidates registered with the Federal Elections Commission in the race for the 2nd Congressional District, which represents the towns of Hempstead, Oyster Bay, Babylon and Islip.
Long Island Republican leaders have not yet announced whom they plan to support in the race. Candidates include Assemb. Andrew Garbarino, the son of Islip Republican leader William Garbarino, Assemb. Mike LiPetri and Board of Elections Republican Commissioner Nick LaLota.
GOP Suffolk chair Jesse Garcia said the DCCC was “late to the party” in designating the race a top priority.
“Suffolk Republicans and their partners in the minor parties and the (National Republican Congressional Committee) have made this a top-tier race from day one,” Garcia said.
Republicans plan to announce their candidate around early February, he said.
Gordon, a retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel who recently stepped down as Babylon Town Councilwoman to run for Congress, was picked by the DCCC for meeting fundraising goals and getting grassroots engagement, the DCCC said. Gordon had raised $187,941 in the third quarter of 2019, according to the Federal Elections Commission. Candidates’ campaign finance records for the end of 2019 are not due until Jan. 31.
“I’m proud of our people-powered, grassroots campaign and will continue to work hard to earn the support of voters across this district," Gordon said in a statement.
Other Democrats running for the seat do not currently hold public office, including Patricia Maher, Johanna Ellerup and Mike Sax.