Election 2012: Demos backs out, clearing GOP path for Altschuler

TIM GANNON FILE PHOTO | Randy Altschuler, shown here at a recent press conference in Calverton, now faces a clear path to the GOP nomination for the 1st Congressional District this fall.

George Demos, the longshot hopeful for the GOP nomination in this year’s race for the 1st Congressional seat has bowed out of the race, according to a statement he sent to supporters and the media Friday.

Mr. Demos’ decision clears the way for GOP favorite Randy Altschuler of St. James to again face incumbent Tim Bishop (D-Southampton) this November.

Below is the statement Mr. Demos, who was expected to face Mr. Altschuler in a primary, sent on Friday:

“Everyone who knows me knows of my deep commitment to public service and to being a strong voice for the Conservative cause. Equally, everyone who knows Chrysa and me, knows of our deep commitment to each other and the joy we are sharing in preparation for our wedding a week from now.

“These two facts have now come together. Both my impending marriage and my race for Congress are deeply important to me. But our marriage comes first.

“Therefore, today, I am going to set aside my political aspirations for a while so that I can focus on our family. Both Chrysa and I look forward to reentering the political debate in the near future and to fighting for the Conservative Republican values we share.”

Mr. Demos finished second to Mr. Altschuler in a three-way primary for the Republican spot on the ticket in 2010, with Christopher Cox, the grandson of former president Richard Nixon, finishing a distant third.

And Suffolk Republicans announced in February that they would support Mr. Altschuler, who lost to Mr. Bishop by just 593 votes in 2010, again this time around.

Mr. Altschuler offered the following statement Friday:

“My wife Cheryl and I wish George and his bride-to-be, Chrysa, much happiness in their future together,” said Altschuler. “While George and I have competed fiercely at times for the Republican nomination, both in 2010 and this year, we share a common goal – and that is defeating Obama rubberstamp, incumbent Congressman Tim Bishop, and bringing an end to his job-killing agenda that has badly hurt the people of Suffolk County.”

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