Republican Randy Altschuler received a boost Tuesday in his second effort to oust Rep. Tim Bishop (D-Southampton), earning the endorsement of the state Independence Party.
Altschuler, a St. James businessman, lost to Bishop in 2010 by 593 votes — one-tenth percent of the 202,007 turnout. Bishop got the Independence nod then, netting 7,370 votes on the party’s line.
“Randy Altschuler, to me, is just an exceptional guy, and he certainly has credentials from the private sector that I think would make him a wonderful congressman,” said Frank MacKay, the state and Suffolk County Independence chairman. “This is a pro-Altschuler move, not anti-Bishop.”
Altschuler, 41, founded the Manhattan-based business support firm OfficeTiger in 2000, selling it in 2006 when it had 4,000 employees — about half in Asia. Bishop has repeatedly attacked his opponent as a corporate outsourcer, and Altschuler has said he’ll be more forceful fighting back this fall.
“The election last time proved this is a district with a diversity of opinion,” Altschuler said. “As a candidate from the private sector, I want to appeal to as a wide a group as possible, and this certainly helps.”
But Oliver Longwell, a Bishop spokesman, downplayed the endorsement.
“Third-party lines are less important in big races where the candidates are well known,” he said. “Suffolk County voters who re-elected Tim Bishop over Randy Altschuler still know where to find him on the ballot.”