SMITHTOWN - Long Islanders will head to the polls today to choose their candidates in several primary elections. In the 1st Congressional District, Lee Zeldin is locked in a bitter battle with George Demos for the chance to run.
Suffolk residents may have recently answered their phones to hear former New York Mayor Rudy Guiliani. He's been urging Republicans to vote for Demos, a former federal prosecutor who is seeking the Republican nomination.
"This is a classic race of a political outsider fighting the establishment, and we're working very hard to get the support of people across Long Island for a real Conservative," Demos told News 12.
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Demos was raised in Manhattan, and, according to his campaign manager, moved to the district in 2009.
His opponent, Lee Zeldin, charges Demos made the move purely for political purposes. "We're just very tired of having people parachute in here to run for Congress," Zeldin says.
Zeldin, a state senator and Army Reserve major, wants voters to know he's a Long Islander through-and-through. "I grew up here, my daughters go to the same elementary school I went to, I've been involved in thousands of community organizations," Zeldin says.
Zeldin enjoys the advantage of having the backing of the Suffolk Republican Party, while Demos enjoys the advantage of having twice the campaign funds.
The winner will get to take on six-term incumbent Rep. Tim Bishop (D-Southampton) in the Nov. 4 election.