Steve Bannon to headline fundraiser for Rep. Lee Zeldin
WASHINGTON — Former White House senior strategist Stephen Bannon is scheduled to headline a campaign fundraiser for Rep. Lee Zeldin next month in Manhattan, event co-host Arthur Schwartz confirmed Wednesday.
The conservative firebrand’s role in helping to re-elect the Shirley Republican was first reported by news website Axios, which cited sources close to Bannon.
Zeldin’s fundraiser would be the first that Bannon, who played an integral role in President Donald Trump’s campaign, has attended for a sitting House Republican.
A campaign spokeswoman for Zeldin did not respond to a request for comment.
The Dec. 14 fundraiser in midtown Manhattan will be hosted by Schwartz, a GOP operative, and Republican lobbyist Wayne Berman.
Tickets begin at $1,000 and Bannon is expected to deliver a speech, Schwartz told Newsday.
Zeldin and Bannon have bonded over their fierce support of Israel.
The congressman introduced the populist media executive at a Zionist Organization of America gala earlier this month and commended his refusal to report for work at the White House on the day of Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas’ visit.
“I will not breathe the same air as that terrorist,” Zeldin had recalled Bannon saying. “I would not be able to look up in the eye after breaking bread with someone with Jewish blood on their hands.”
Bannon will seek to further wield his influence on House races, Axios reported.
He returned to his executive chairman position at Breitbart News after his August departure from the White House.
Bannon has declared he will work to unseat veteran Washington lawmakers and is a vocal critic of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
At the Values Voter Summit of social conservatives in October, Bannon declared it a “season of war against a GOP establishment.”
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in January placed Zeldin’s Suffolk County seat on its list of “battlefield” districts in the party’s bid to regain control of the House next year.