State Sen. Zeldin, 34, from Shirley, was named one of 10 “Rising Conservative Stars” by the American Conservative Union. Zeldin is backed by state and local GOP and Conservative Party leaders, and is endorsed by 60 local officials, national Republicans like John McCain and Rick Santorum and ex-Sen. Alfonse D’Amato.
His opponent, Demos, 37, grew up in Manhattan and was described by former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani as the “true conservative” in the race. Former Governor George Pataki, a Republican, conceded: “George [Demos] is a conservative. Period.”
Zeldin, a lawyer and Army Reserve Major and Demos, a former Securities and Exchange Commission lawyer, have similar policies, though that hasn’t discouraged them from engaging in nasty smear tactics against each other. Both want to repeal Obamacare, oppose tax increases, and agree that Long Island needs economic improvement badly.
Zeldin and Demos are running for a chance to face six-term incumbent Democrat Tim Bishop on Nov. 4. The First Congressional District includes the East End, Brookhaven Town and most of Smithtown.
New York has a closed primary process, meaning only those registered as Republican can vote in next week's primary.
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