LONG ISLAND, NY – Sensing a surge of the momentum he built up in his campaign for Congress after the anti-establishment wave crushed House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in last week’s Virginia primary, George Demos welcomed the endorsement of the largest weekly newspaper in the 1st Congressional district, The Smithtown News.
Demos told supporters by email: “We are gaining tremendous momentum and are poised for victory this Tuesday. Today, our campaign was endorsed by The Smithtown News called our campaign ‘more conservative’ and ‘free from the influences of the Republican and Conservative party bosses.’ In addition, The News called the budget gimmicks Lee Zeldin sponsored in Albany ‘a governmental atrocity that never should have been allowed.’
The endorsement follows:
Republicans Called to the Polls June 24
In the First Congressional District, which includes the lion’s share of Smithtown, the designated Republican candidate is State Senator Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley), who ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 2008 and is seeking the nomination for a second shot at Rep. Bishop. Mr. Zeldin is being challenged in next week’s primary by George Demos, who is making his third run for Congress after finishing second in a three-way primary in 2010 and dropping out of the race late in the primary campaign in 2012.
During the contentious primary campaign, Mr. Demos has beaten up on Mr. Zeldin for his votes last year and this year to fund Obamacare in New York State. Mr. Zeldin’s sponsorship of legislation to authorize the lease-buy-back of the H. Lee Dennison building in Hauppauge is, however, the issue that should concern Republican voters. The Dennison building scheme is a governmental atrocity that never should have been allowed.
The Dennison building is appraised at $25 million, yet Mr. Zeldin sponsored a bill in the State Senate that allowed Suffolk County to sell the building for $70 million and to make lease payments or the next three decades to buy the building back. The $70 million was a one-shot budget revenue which is already gone and the cost of the repayment is more expensive than had the county simply borrowed a like amount of money.
In the primary, Mr. Demos and Mr. Zeldin are trying to appeal to the conservative voters of their party, but Mr. Zeldin’s Dennison building legislation is hardly conservative. It is an ill-advised rip off of the voters, burying the next generation of Suffolk County taxpayers in debt.
With support of the political bosses, Mr. Zeldin is the clear favorite in this race. Mr. Demos though, is the more conservative candidate ideologically and the more independent candidate, beholden to no one and free from the influences of the Republican and Conservative party bosses.
This is a tough choice. Party leaders think Mr. Zeldin gives Republicans the best chance to win in November, but he might not. He is vulnerable and compromised as a result of his voting record, while Mr. Demos is unencumbered. He is available and accessible, tuned in to national issues, well financed politically and poised to wage a competitive political battle against the entrenched incumbent. The News endorses Mr. Demos in next week’s primary.