L.I. 82nd Airborne vet, conservative runs for Congress in NY-1

New York state Sen. Lee M. Zeldin, the GOP challenger for the NY-1 congressional district. (Courtesy)

A paratrooper Army veteran and state senator is making a serious run to be the next congressman for Eastern Long Island, a district that includes the elite playground beaches of The Hamptons.


“The biggest problem in federal government is that Congress has a tax and spend problem,” said state Sen. Lee M. Zeldin, who is the Republican and Conservative Party candidate for U.S. Congress NY-1 which encompasses all of Long Island’s Suffolk County. “We need to be passing balanced budgets that cut taxes and reduce wasteful spending.”

The last time the federal government passed a budget was in 2007, he said. “It’s time to end the era of fiscal insanity and DC dysfunction.”

Judy Pepenella, executive committee member of Brightwaters-based Conservative Society for Action, said electing Zeldin to Congress is the perfect opportunity to bring a real conservative Republican from New York to Congress. The state’s GOP is lacking when it comes to conservative representation, she said. “Lee Zeldin will bring our voice to DC.”

Zeldin, who received a law degree from Albany Law School, said he is running for Congress because he is tired of the way Washington fails to represent conservative values. “I believe our country could be headed in a much better direction.”

Incumbent Rep. Timothy H. Bishop (D.-N.Y.) is a rubber stamp to President Obama and Nancy Pelosi, he said.

His accomplishments are dismal, he said. “After 12 years in office, my opponent has been a backbencher who has only introduced 4 bills that have been passed and signed into law – all four of these bills were to rename post offices.”

In contrast Zeldin said he has worked for the betterment of the community and the state. “During my four years in Albany, I introduced 48 bills that were passed and signed into law.” These bills included cutting taxes and fees and protecting military families from protests at military burials, he said.


Prior to serving as a New York senator, Zeldin served in Iraq as a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division and continues to serve as a Major in the Army Reserves, he said. “My love of country has driven me to run for office.”

Zeldin yard signs (Courtesy)
Zeldin yard signs (Courtesy)

The New York State Rifle & Pistol Association supports Lee Zeldin because of his record as a New York State Senator, said President Thomas H. King. NYSRPA is the state’s largest and the nation’s oldest firearms advocacy organization.

“Mr. Zeldin has always supported the Second Amendment and the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association,” he said. “Even though he was not able to cast a ballot on the New York SAFE Act because he was doing his military service, he has assured us he will continue to help preparing the litigation for the NY SAFE Act law suit.”

Zeldin, who has been a vocal advocate against the SAFE Act, said he is a strong supporter of Second Amendment rights. “I simply cannot support legislation which so clearly violates the rights of law abiding citizens – part of which has been already overturned by a U.S. District Court as unconstitutional.”

What is needed in Washington is stronger leadership, he said. “Currently, we have an overreaching federal government.” One example of this is with our education system, he said. This past year, New York was one of many states that adopted the federal Common Core standards. That was a mistake, said Zeldin.


“Traditionally, education was always developed on a state and local level,” he said. “Now we have the federal government creating a national standard, essentially creating a one-size fits all teaching method.”

Another disadvantage of Common Core is that it puts student’s privacy at risk, he said. “In order for states to receive funding from the federal government, they had to sign-up for privacy invading policies, which leave our children vulnerable.”

He said current law does not protect student information. “As a Congressman, I will fight on the federal level to protect our vulnerable students’ privacy rights to protect my children and their generation.”

The bottom line is America ought to return to the principles contained in the Constitution, said Zeldin.

“The U.S. Constitution is the greatest living document in the world,” he said. “I have dedicated my life to protecting the freedoms and liberties granted to us by our Founding Fathers.”

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