Few Surprises Among Long Island Primary Wins

National Popular Vote Movement

The results of the June primaries are in, and while most of the frontrunners came out on top, one challenger pulled off an upset on Long Island.

In the most-watched congressional Democratic race, Stony Brook University professor Nancy Goroff beat three other candidates for the chance to challenge U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) for the district representing the East End.

“I am deeply grateful to the Democratic voters of this district for giving me the chance to take on Lee Zeldin and, hopefully, represent our district in Washington,” Goroff said.

The frontrunner, businessman Perry Gershon of East Setauket, who was seeking a rematch of his 2018 race against Zeldin, conceded the race, as did fellow Democratic primary challenger Suffolk County Legislator Bridget Fleming (D-Southampton). Rounding out the race was business strategist Gregory-John Fischer of Calverton.

Higher than usual voter turnout is expected in the general election as Republican President Donald Trump seeks a second term and Democratic former Vice President Joe Biden tries to unseat him. But like with the primaries, results are likely to take longer than usual amid increased absentee ballot use due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

In the second congressional district on the South Shore of Nassau and southwestern Suffolk, New York State Assemblyman Andrew Garbarino (R-Sayville) declared victory over his opponent, Assemblyman Michael LiPetri (R-Massapequa), who conceded the Republican line in the race to replace retiring U.S. Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford).

In the Democratic primary to decide who will face Garbarino, former Babylon Town Councilwoman Jackie Gordon of Copiague was certified the winner over attorney Patricia Maher.

“As we enter the general election, my focus remains on the issues that matter to Long Island’s working families,” Gordon said.

In the third congressional district on the North Shore of Nassau, western Suffolk, and eastern Queens, U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-Glen Cove) beat challengers Melanie D’Arrigo and Michael Weinstock.

“I am overwhelmed by the support I received,” Suozzi said.

In the fourth congressional district representing south central Nassau from Mineola and Hicksville to Long Beach, the Nassau board of elections certified Hempstead Town Commissioner of Engineering Douglas Tuman won the GOP line over Woodmere activist Cindy Grosz. Tuman will face U.S. Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-Garden City) in November.

And in the fifth congressional district, U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-Queens), who represents a part of southwestern Nassau, fended off challenger Shaniyat Chowdhury.

As for the New York State legislative primaries, Parents For Megan’s Law Executive Director Laura Ahearn of Port Jefferson won the five-way Democratic primary in her bid to replace retiring state Sen. Kenneth LaValle (R-Port Jefferson) in the first state Senate district on the East End. She will face state Assemblyman Anthony Palumbo (R-New Suffolk), who is vacating his seat while vying for LaValle’s.

In the race for Palumbo’s soon-to-be vacated North Fork second state Assembly district seat, former Riverhead Town Supervisor Laura Jens-Smiths was confirmed the Democratic winner over businessman William Schleisner of Sound Beach. She will face Riverhead Town Councilwoman Jodi Giglio, who is running on the Republican line in that race.

“This pandemic election hasn’t been easy, but folks rose to the occasion, and turned out in huge numbers,” Jens-Smiths said. “Now we set our sights toward November.”

Sign up for Long Island Press’ email newsletters here. Sign up for home delivery of Long Island Press here. Sign up for discounts by becoming a Long Island Press community partner here.