Republican voters head to the polls for primary

06/23/2014 8:00 AM |
State Senator Lee Zeldin, left, and primary opponent George Demos.

State Senator Lee Zeldin, left, and primary opponent George Demos.

They’ve been slamming each other in campaign advertisements for weeks, with each linking the other to Nancy Pelosi, former Speaker of the House, in one form or another. And come Tuesday, Republican voters will decide whether Lee Zeldin or George Demos will be their candidate to oppose incumbent Congressman Tim Bishop (D-Southampton) in the fall. 

Lee Zeldin, 34, is a New York state senator who lives in Shirley with his wife and two children. He’s also an attorney who spent four years of active duty in the U.S. Army, where he was deployed to Iraq in 2006 as a member of the 82nd Airborne Division. Since 2007, he has been a member of the Army Reserves and currently holds the rank of Major. He established his law practice in 2008.

Mr. Zeldin was elected to the state Senate in 2010, when the incumbent, Brian Foley, was the deciding vote in approving the MTA Payroll tax. Mr. Zeldin later voted against that measure, helping to overturn a large part of the tax.

Prior to running for state Senate, Mr. Zeldin opposed Mr. Bishop in 2008, his first run for public office, and Mr. Zeldin was defeated by a 58-42 percentage margin.

Mr. Zeldin has the support of the Suffolk County Republican Committee; Mr. Demos has launched a primary challenge.

Mr. Demos, 37, is an attorney who lives in Stony Brook with his wife and young son. He is a former U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Enforcement Attorney, where he worked from 2002 to 2009 prosecuting corporate fraud cases.

He has run Republican primaries against the Republican committee designee in each of the last two Congress races, losing both times to Randy Altschuler.

In 2012, he announced that he was withdrawing from the race that May, though his name remained on the primary ballot.

tgannon@timesreview.com