Playing up their mutual friendship and conservative roots, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich will endorse John Gomez, the Republican/Conservative challenger to Democratic Rep. Steve Israel at a Farmingdale rally Thursday.

Gingrich, a possible 2012 presidential contender, became friendly with Gomez through their association with Fox News host Sean Hannity, who is a boyhood friend of Gomez, said campaign spokesman James Dobkowski. The rally will take place 3:30 p.m. Thursday at the Atlantic Aviation Terminal at the Republic Airport site along Route 109 in Farmingdale.

"John and the Speaker know each other through Sean," said Dobkowski. "Look at Newt Gingrich's record when he was in Congress and that's the type of leadership we think voters are looking for."

Dobkowski said the campaign plans to host a similar event for Gomez featuring Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann on July 17 at the Knights of Columbus facility in Deer Park.

Gomez's campaign plans to attack Israel for his liberal record and his ties to current House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. "We feel [Israel] has moved away from his Long Island roots," said Dobkowski.

Later Thursday night, Gingrich will attend a $500-a-head fundraiser for Gomez at the Lloyd Harbor home of former State Parks Commissioner Bernadette Castro. Gomez, a lawyer from Bayport, is a former radio talk-show host who registered as a Republican in January and is running for office for the first time. Gingrich is also scheduled to appear Thursday at 4 p.m. at the Book Revue in Huntington to promote his latest book.


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