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National GOP begins spending on Long Island House races

Lee Zeldin at a press conference at Cedar

Lee Zeldin at a press conference at Cedar Beach in Mt. Sinai on Friday, July 29, 2016. Photo Credit: Newsday / John Paraskevas

WASHINGTON — National Republicans last week opened the spigot for a trickle of what is expected to turn into a flood of outside political spending from both sides in Long Island’s two most competitive congressional races in the Nov. 8 election.

The National Republican Congressional Committee last week spent $5,000 for media to oppose Democrats Anna Throne-Holst of Southampton in her challenge to first-term Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley), said its reports filed Wednesday with the Federal Election Commission.

The NRCC says it has reserved $1.8 million in broadcast airtime in Zeldin’s 1st District in Suffolk County on Long Island’s East End, where in the 2014 election outside groups aligned with the GOP and Democrats cumulatively spent more than $5 million.

The NRCC also reported it spent $5,000 on media and $28,855 for survey research against Democrat Thomas Suozzi, the former Nassau County executive, in his bid succeed retiring Rep. Steve Israel of Huntington.

The NRCC said it has reserved $1.1 million in broadcast airtime in Israel’s 3rd District, which spans Queens, Nassau and Suffolk counties, and where millions more likely will be spent in the race for the open seat.

The NRCC is waiving its prohibition against taking sides in the primary that pits state Sen. Jack Martins of Mineola in an October race against Philip Pidot, a financial analyst from Glen Cove, for the Republican nomination for the race, said Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.), NRCC chairman.

Walden called a judge’s ruling that Pidot deserved a second primary “bizarre” in an appearance before reporters Thursday. “Forget the primary, we’re in with Jack,” Walden said.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has not reported any independent expenditures on Long Island to the FEC.

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