U.S. Congress, 2nd District

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WATCH: Island Vote in-studio debate for this race

Peter T. King
Republican

Background: King, 74, of Seaford, is running on the Republican, Conservative, Reform and Tax Revolt lines. The 13-term congressman holds a bachelor's degree from St. Francis College in Brooklyn and a law degree from the University of Notre Dame. King, who was first elected to Congress in 1992, serves on the Homeland Security Committee and is chairman of the Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence. He is also a member of the Financial Services Committee and Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Before serving in Congress, King had a lengthy career in Nassau County politics, having served on the Hempstead Town Council and as Nassau County comptroller. King is married and has two adult children.

Issues: King, who previously chaired the House's Homeland Security Committee, touted his work securing aid for Long Islanders and New Yorkers for key initiatives, including health care for 9/11 first-responders, superstorm Sandy aid, and research funding for breast cancer and prostate cancer. He said he is often a strong advocate for preserving Homeland Security funding during the annual budget negotiations. King said his "main priority is dealing with middle-income families." King said he considers himself a "blue-collar conservative" who's able to work well with his Democratic colleagues. He said he's also worked to bring attention to the spread of MS-13 in his district. "The fact that MS-13 is on the defensive is a very, very positive step," he said.

Liuba Grechen Shirley
Democrat

Background: Grechen Shirley, 37, of Amityville, is running on the Democrat party ballot line. She has worked for nonprofits in a career that has focused on issues including economic development and alleviation of poverty. She also founded the grassroots group New York's 2nd District Democrats. Grechen Shirley served as a United Nations Women's Empower Women Global Champion and launched the #IAmParent campaign for parental leave with UN Women. She earned a bachelor's degree from New York University in politics and Russian. She has an MBA from NYU's Stern School of Business, where she specialized in management, economics and social innovation. Grechen Shirley is married with two children.

Issues: Grechen Shirley said a key reason she is running for Congress is that "there are too many people who are struggling and not enough working Americans in Congress who understand these issues because they live them every day." She supports Medicare for All. She also criticized last year's federal tax overhaul, saying, "Half of Long Islanders will see our taxes increase this year." Noting that her grandparents came to the United States as political refugees, she criticized conditions for immigrants and working Long Islanders. "For too many people now, we have rising home prices, and underfunded public schools, and discriminatory immigration laws, and the decks are stacked against working Americans," she said. Grechen Shirley supports universal pre-K and opposes attempts to siphon money from public schools. She supports extending Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for people from designated countries, including many of those who live in her district.

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