x

Politics

Can George Demos Ride the Anti-Establishment Wave all the Way to Washington?

NEW YORK – The battle for the Republican nomination for New York’s 1st Congressional District between George Demos and State Senator Lee Zeldin is now in the final stretch, but tremors are being felt beyond the normal rumbles of a local political horse race after Eric Cantor’s defeat by a Tea Party candidate. In fact, given Zeldin’s request for Cantor’s help prior to the House Majority Leader’s stunning defeat to Dave Brat last week, and considering he is also backed by quintessential establishment Republican Senator John McCain, this may well be New York’s version of the Brat-Cantor game-changer.

“We are now feeling a tremendous anti-establishment fervor,” Demos said. “People don’t want the candidates selected by the party bosses, they want one that will stand up and fight on behalf of the people,” he said. Like the Brat-Cantor race in Virginia, this is a primary challenge to a Republican incumbent. Though Zeldin certainly did not have Cantor’s stature – meaning that a loss, though an upset, would not be a monumental one – the outcome could be an important indicator of whether the Virginia race was an aberration, or an indicator of things to come.

“I am the anti-establishment candidate,” Demos emphasized. “Every chairman from the state party to the local level has endorsed my opponent, but in the end, people don’t care about those endorsements. They care about who the candidate is, and they hire the person to be their congressman, not the insiders.”

He told TNH that polling data indicates that his candidacy is surging as the June 24 primary approaches, and said “we are confident and cautiously optimistic in this race.”

He knows the establishment is worried he will because the American Action Network, a 501(c)(4) organization which is anonymous but is known to be a Washington, DC-based Republican insider group, just spent $225,000 to fight him. “They obviously wouldn’t be doing this is they did not see that we are well-placed for victory.”

CANTOR TO ZELDIN’S RESCUE?

Prior to Cantor’s loss, Zeldin asked him to come to Long Island to campaign for him. The visit materialized last weekend, but it was transformed into quiet fundraiser appearances and a joint visit to a synagogue.

Demos told TNH that “it is shocking that Zeldin thinks that bringing in a defeated representative of the Washington establishment was going to help him with Long Island voters.”

The main lesson he has learned as a campaigner is that “you have to bypass the political apparatus and reach out directly to the voters.”

Demos has been working hard on the campaign trail morning until evening for months, often joined by his wife Chrysa and their baby Angelo, whom he called “the real star of the campaign, and he appreciates the support of the Greek-American community, which has provided funds and volunteers.

He thanks Republicans Demos admires, like former governor George Pataki and former mayor Rudolph Giuliani, for supporting him in ads, but there is no substitute for knocking on doors.

“Voters want to see me and look me in the eye and ask me what I stand for. I have to earn their confidence to be their congressman, and only I can do that,” he said.

The ads are helping narrow the gap, however. The latest emphasize that Zeldin has voted for numerous tax increases. At the start of the campaign, Zeldin’s votes for “Obamacare,” was the number one issue.

But since Cantor’s defeat, “the most important issue is establishment versus non-establishment,” Demos said, and noted Cantor was not considered conservative on issues that mattered to conservative voters.” On immigration reform “what he was pushing sounds to a lot of people like amnesty,” he said.

RELATED

LONDON - Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis had a meeting with Greeks of the diaspora while in London on Wednesday, during which he highlighted the options that Greeks living abroad now have to vote in Greek elections from their place of residence, as well as his government's emphasis on reforms.

Top Stories

Society

ATHENS – A major snow storm that had been predicted for days still caught residents in Greece offguard and the New Democracy government scrambling for answers as to why motorists were stuck for hours on major roads.

Politics

US Congress represenatives Gus Bilirakis of Florida and Nicole Malliotakis of New York – both Republicans – assailed President Joe Biden's administration for no longer supporting the EastMed pipeline project by Greece, Cyprus and Israel.

Associations

WASHINGTON HEIGHTS, NY – In the presence of distinguished guests, the vasilopita was cut by the Federation of Greek American Educators in the community hall at St Spyridon Greek Orthodox Church in Washington Heights on January 23.

Video

Meet Methuselah, the Oldest Living Aquarium Fish

SAN FRANCISCO — Meet Methuselah, the fish that likes to eat fresh figs, get belly rubs and is believed to be the oldest living aquarium fish in the world.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. abc@xyz.com

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.