With primaries over, LI congressional campaigns heat up

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SMITHTOWN -

The two Democratic challengers to a pair of high-profile Republican congressmen on Long Island rallied in Smithtown Thursday to energize voters ahead of November's general election.

Perry Gershon, who became the Democratic challenger to Rep. Lee Zeldin after Tuesday's primary vote, rallied down the street from his opponent's campaign fundraiser alongside Liuba Grechen-Shirley, the Democratic challenger to Rep. Peter King. They called it a unity rally and said they aimed to flip both red districts blue.

"Whether it be health care, or protecting the environment or good-paying jobs coming back to the county, we're the champions of that," Gershon said. "We're not the champions of hate, which is what this other campaign is."

At the same time a mile away, Rep. Zeldin kicked off his re-election campaign with a fundraiser with a couple of former aides to President Donald Trump: Sean Spicer and Sebastian Gorka.

"There is a saying, 'Winners never remember, and losers never forget,'" Zeldin said of his Democratic critics. "And they're really pissed off...because they lost really bad in November of 2016."

Outside both the rally and the fundraiser were counter-protesters against each of the candidates.

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