Island Vote: King, Gregory vying for 2nd Congressional District

A veteran Republican congressman is facing a challenge for his seat this Election Day from the presiding officer of the Suffolk County Legislature.

Rep. Peter King is being challenged by Suffolk Legislature Presiding Officer DuWayne Gregory.

Rep. Peter King is being challenged by Suffolk Legislature Presiding Officer DuWayne Gregory. (10/17/16)

NORTH AMITYVILLE - A veteran Republican congressman is facing a challenge for his seat this Election Day from the presiding officer of the Suffolk County Legislature.

U.S. Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford) may often speak nationally when it comes to issues related to defense and terrorism, but he says that serving his constituents has always been his No. 1 priority.

His opponent is Suffolk Legislature Presiding Officer DuWayne Gregory (D-Amityville). He says he feels good about what he admits is an uphill battle against King.

When King was first elected to Congress, his district was entirely contained within Nassau County. Because of shifting populations, the boundaries have moved. It is now 75 percent in Suffolk and includes multiple minority communities such as Wyandanch and North Amityville.

Some may see that shift as a benefit to Gregory, but political analyst Jerry Kremer says he thinks that with all his name recognition, the race is King's to lose.

"He appeals to a certain percentage of Democrats as well as Republicans," Kremer says. "And I don't know any congressman from New York state who gets as much air time on television as Pete King."

King has been in Congress more than 20 years.

Gregory is a former Army lieutenant first elected to the Suffolk Legislature in 2008.

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