Republicans Flip 2 Long Island Congressional Seats

Congress 2
(Briana Bonfiglio)

Republicans flipped at two Democrat-held Long Island congressional seats in Tuesday’s elections, but it remains to be seen if the GOP won enough seats nationwide to win control of Congress.

In the 2nd Congressional District race to replace outgoing U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-Glen Cove), Republican George Santos beat Democrat Robert Zimmerman, who conceded. And former Hempstead Town Supervisor Laura Gillen, a Democrat, conceded Wednesday to Republican Hempstead Town Councilman Anthony D-Esposito in the race in the 4th Congressional District for the seat held by outgoing U.S. Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-Garden City).

“We took a seat that’s been in Democrat hands for 25 years and took it,” D’Esposito said to a cheering crowd at Nassau GOP’s election night party at the Coral House in Baldwin. “And I look forward to joining the rest of the Long Island delegation down in Washington, D.C. to be that voice. We together are going to have a loud voice delivering Long Island’s message to the halls of Capitol Hill.”

Long Island congressional races
L. to R.: Nick LaLota, Andrew Garbarino, Anthony D’Esposito and George Santos.

LI’s other two congressional seats remained in GOP hands, meaning all four of the region’s congressmen will be Republicans. In the 1st Congressional District, Republican Nick LaLota, an aide to the presiding officer of the Suffolk Legislature, beat Suffolk Legislator Bridget Fleming (D-Noyac) in the race for the seat held by outgoing U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley), who opted against seeking re-election so he could instead mount a bid for higher office that he lost to Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul.

“I will work tirelessly to ensure that America is always respected, and always prepare to meet our challenges abroad head on,” LaLota said. “Let’s get back to leading from the front, not the back. From my Long Island family to yours, I promise to never stop putting Long Island first.”

Fleming conceded the race.

“Our fight continues, and the most important work lies ahead of us,” she said. “The challenges facing our nation and Long Island communities are daunting. We must not back down from the fight to defend the freedoms that make our great country a rich, resilient and generous nation. And our history teaches us that when Americans work together, we can overcome anything.”

And in the 2nd Congressional District, freshman U.S. Rep. Andrew Garbarino (R-Sayville) is now the most tenured member of LI congressional delegation after winning a rematch from former Babylon Town Councilwoman Jackie Gordon, a Democrat.

“Thank you to the people of New York’s Second District for once again voting to send me to Congress to fight for Long Island values,” Garbarino said. “We have accomplished so much together over these last two years, but there is so much more work to do, starting with securing healthcare for our 9/11 first responders and ending the unjustifiable SALT deduction cap.”

It remains to be seen if Republicans flipped enough congressional seats nationwide to regain the majority in the U.S. House of Representatives, as some races in other states remained too close to call.