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Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) outraises Democratic challengers

Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) Zeldin, is seeking a

Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) Zeldin, is seeking a fourth term representing the 1st District, which covers the East End in Suffolk County. Credit: Morgan Campbell

Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin raised $761,925 in the first quarter of 2020, more than the combined fundraising of all four Democratics seeking their party's nomination to challenge him in November, according to new campaign finance filings.

The Federal Election Commission filings, which were due April 15, also show Zeldin reported $1.8 million cash on hand, compared with $645,868 for Democrat Nancy Goroff, $503,700 for Perry Gershon and $305,180 for Bridget Fleming, who also are seeking the Democratic nomination.

The congressional primaries are scheduled for June 23.

Zeldin, 40, of Shirley, is seeking a fourth term representing the 1st District, which covers the East End in Suffolk County.

His campaign suspended his end-of quarter fundraising, encouraging donors to support organizations in the district assisting the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Zeldin campaign spokeswoman Katie Vincentz said in a statement, "while we look forward to continuing this momentum, the Congressman's number one priority is continuing to work with all levels of government to combat the ongoing outbreak of coronavirus."

Goroff, 52, chair of the Stony Brook University chemistry department, raised more than $241,548 during the filing period ending March 31, according to her FEC filing.

Jacob Sarkozi, Goroff's campaign manager, said the campaign prioritized the "safety and security of the people of Suffolk County during the outbreak."

 "In the time of COVID-19, the people of Suffolk County see that Nancy's background as a scientist makes her uniquely qualified to analyze the data and find solutions that work for all of us, and she'll keep working each day to get that message out," Sarkozi said.

Fleming, 59, a Democratic Suffolk County legislator from Sag Harbor, took in more than $254,770 in the quarter.

“This growing base of support, even during such a difficult time for our community, makes clear that voters are hungry for a leader with a record of standing up to [President] Donald Trump at the local level when his national policy adversely impacts us.” Fleming said. 

Gershon, 58, a businessman from East Hampton, raised 175,083, according to his April 15 filing.

Kim Devlin, senior adviser for Gershon's campaign, said, “Zeldin and his corporate donors know that he is in trouble in November because he has done nothing to push back on Trump’s punishment to New York residents and front-line workers, and they are desperately trying to fill his coffers to compensate."

Eighty-five percent of the 10,000 donors to Zeldin's campaign gave $50 or less, Vincentz said. 

Democratic candidate Gregory-John Fischer, a business strategist from Calverton, reported no contributions in the quarter.

In the 2nd Congressional District, where Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford) is not seeking reelection, Democrats are expected to nominate Jackie Gordon, 55, a former Babylon Town Board member and a retired Army lieutenant colonel from Copiague.

Gordon raised $400,025 in the first quarter of 2020 and has $535,529 cash on hand, according to her new FEC filings.

Among Republicans:

  • Assemb. Andrew Garbarino, of Sayville, the GOP designee, raised $150,543 in the first quarter of 2020, according to his filing.
  • Assemb. Michael LiPetri, of South Farmingdale, who announced in February he would seek the GOP nomination, raised $161,270 during the filing period. 
  • Nick LaLota, of Amityville, the Suffolk Republican elections commissioner and a possible GOP candidate, reported raising $8,116 during the same time period.

Four other Republicans and one Democrat are listed with the FEC as candidates in the 2nd District but did not report contributions.

In Long Island's other congressional races, first quarter 2020 filings show:

  • 3rd District: Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-Glen Cove) raised $303,059, spent $271,026, and has $2.2 million cash on hand. Among other Democrats in the race, Melanie D'Arrigo has $59,776 on hand, and Michael Weinstock has $16,470 cash on hand. Republican George Anthony Devolder-Santos has $54,988.
  • 4th District: Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-Garden City) raised $172,562, spent $159,300 and has $269,999 on hand. Republican challenger Steve Raiser has $16,134 in cash on hand.
  • 5th District: Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-St. Albans) took in $222,090, spent 151,842 and has $603,224 cash on hand. There is no Republican candidate in the race.

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