New York: Former JAG Officer Takes Fight to Bishop

Posted January 15, 2008 at 5:04pm

Lee Zeldin (R), an Iraq War veteran and former Army JAG officer, formally entered the race Monday to take on three-term Rep. Tim Bishop (D).

“Because of my love for my family, my pride in my nation, and a call to service, I am compelled to make this run for Congress,” Zeldin told supporters at an American Legion hall in Amagansett.

Zeldin, a 27-year-old attorney with 1-year-old twin daughters, will be a decided underdog against Bishop, but he has an appealing life story. What’s more, the 1st district on the eastern end of Long Island is one of the most politically unpredictable in the country.

Although enrolled Republicans outnumber Democrats, the district appears to be trending Democratic. President Bush and Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) essentially tied there in 2004, and Bishop has won two easy victories after squeaking through in an upset in 2002.

But control of the House seat has switched from one party to another a handful of times in the past decade and a half.

In his announcement speech, Zeldin did not mention Bishop directly, but he did say, “We need a champion, a bulldog that is going to fight for us and not [be] a lapdog for Nancy Pelosi’s misguided agenda.”

Zeldin will have a hard time catching up to Bishop on the financial front. The Congressman ended September with almost $700,000 on hand.

Zeldin held a fundraiser Monday evening in Carle Place, headlined by former Sen. Al D’Amato (R).
— Josh Kurtz