New York State Sen. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) unseated six-term U.S. Rep. Tim Bishop (D-Southampton), sending the Albany lawmaker to Washington, D.C., where he’ll join the increased GOP majority in the House of Representatives.
Zeldin, 34, beat Bishop, 64, by a margin of 54 percent to 45 percent with the majority of election districts reporting in the First Congressional District, which covers the East End and part of Brookhaven town, according to unofficial results from the Suffolk County Board of Elections.
“The only thing worse than a sore loser is a lousy winner,” Bishop told supporters at the Suffolk County Democratic Committee’s election night headquarters at the Islandia Mariott. “I believe that I and my staff have done this job in a way that defines professionalism and so we’re going to transition from this job in the same way.”
Bishop, a former Southampton College provost, was also running on the Working Families and Independence party lines. Zeldin, an Iraq War veteran, additionally had the Conservative Party endorsement. The race was a rematch from four years ago, when Zeldin lost to Bishop, whose last re-election was the longest-running congressional recount in the nation.
“Victory is sweet,” Zeldin told cheering supporters at the GOP’s election night headquarters at The Emporium in Patchogue. “We can’t change Washington unless we change who we send there to represent us. That’s what you did tonight.”
He will be joining a GOP majority in the House that grew larger on Election Day. Republicans also recaptured the majority of the U.S. Senate.
As for the rest of Long Island’s congressional delegation, Democratic Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice beat former Republican county lawmaker Bruce Blakeman in the race to replace retiring U.S. Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-Mineola). Winning re-elections were U.S. Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford), U.S. Rep. Steve Israel (D-Dix Hills) and U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-Queens)