House Minority Leader McCarthy campaigns for Long Island Congressional candidate
The head of the Republican party, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, was in St. James Saturday to campaign for Congressional candidate Nick LaLota.
The sight of McCarthy arm-in-arm with LaLota was a sign political experts say shows how valuable the races here on Long Island are for national politics.
"Being here should show to the rest of the district as well that this is very important to us and we're going to do everything in our power to help him," McCarthy said.
Lalota is running against Democrat Bridget Flemming for Long Island's 1st Congressional District.
While LaLota was fundraising with McCarthy, his opponent was in Sag Harbor doing the same.
Political experts say the national spotlight can sometimes distract from local issues.
"It will take a temporary headline maybe way from a local issue and whatever but, by in large, the candidates will get back to talking about local issues tomorrow," said political expert Michael Dwaziak.
Flemming said voters are concerned with a women's right to choose, the economy and getting the SALT cap removed.
"That's something that Long Islanders want to see go away, it's a relief that Congress can deliver and they want a champion in Washington who is going to fight to get rid of that cap," Flemming said.
LaLota said the abortion issue is a state matter now and is focusing his efforts on inflation with McCarthy.
"We're here today to talk about the economy, to talk about public safety and talk about protecting Americans' freedoms, and I'm happy to partner with him to put America back on the right track," LaLota said.
Political experts say having McCarthy on the Island puts a big spotlight on LaLota's campaign. Because of that, they add that Long Island voters should probably see some big-name Democratic name stumping for Flemming in the very near future.
"You can pretty much bet Long Island is going to get a lot of interest from Washington power elite people," Dwaziak said. "It's sending a message, certainly, to the base that this is an important seat and we're taking it seriously."
Flemming's team told News 12 Long Island her campaign has support from many top Democrats. They added it is in the process of trying to set up a time to have a debate with LaLota sometime soon.