Republican Nicholas LaLota has received the GOP nomination in the...

Republican Nicholas LaLota has received the GOP nomination in the First Congressional District. Credit: James Escher

Suffolk County Republicans have nominated Nicholas LaLota, the Suffolk County Legislature’s chief of staff and a former Republican county elections commissioner, as their candidate in the 1st Congressional District.

Party officials over the weekend picked LaLota, 43, of Amityville, to seek the House seat of Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley), who is running for governor of New York, party chairman Jesse Garcia told Newsday Tuesday.

LaLota, a former U.S. Navy officer and Amityville Village Board member, also is expected to receive the nomination of the Suffolk County Conservative Party, Conservative chairman Mike Torres said.

LaLota said, if elected, he would work to, "rein in the federal budget" in order to control taxes and inflation, ensure the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is properly funded and staffed and end all COVID-19 mandates and executive orders after 45 days, unless a legislative body approves their extension.

"The federal government touches a lot of aspects of Long Islanders’ lives, and I think they need a strong independent voice fighting in Washington" for them, LaLota told Newsday.

Suffolk County Legis. Bridget Fleming (D-Noyac), Legis. Kara Hahn (D-Setauket) and Jackie Gordon, a former Babylon Town Council member, are seeking the Democratic nomination in the 1st District.

LaLota, who lives outside CD-1, said he and his family will move into the district this fall, before the November election.

The U.S. Constitution only requires members of Congress to live in the state at the time they are elected.

Garcia said party officials approached LaLota to run after the state legislature approved new district lines, and the party’s executive committee unanimously approved his candidacy Saturday.

"We thought that from those that were eligible and available, that this was the best opportunity for us to maintain the First Congressional District," Garcia said, citing LaLota’s experience in government and as a Navy veteran.

LaLota stepped down from the elections board earlier this year to become chief of staff to Suffolk County Legis. Kevin McCaffrey (R-Lindenhurst), the presiding officer.

A state appellate court disqualified LaLota from running for state Senate in 2020, ruling he could not run while serving on the elections board.

LaLota had given himself a leave of absence from the board to run for Senate, but the court ruled that was insufficient.

LaLota said he will continue to work at the legislature five days a week, but expects to take accrued time off this summer and fall to campaign.

Suffolk fentanyl summit … Glen Cove credit upgrade … What's up on LI Credit: Newsday

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Suffolk fentanyl summit … Glen Cove credit upgrade … What's up on LI Credit: Newsday

Updated 52 minutes ago Trump trial deliberations ... Rangers Game 5 ... PSEG contract expiring ... Family loves cricket

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