Hopefuls running for Congress update campaign progress.

Candidates Gather Signatures

Congressional candidates seeking spots on November’s ballot reported the results of their gathering of signatures this week. To gain a place on the ballot, would-be electeds need to produce petitions with signatures from party members that represent a percentage of voters in their district.

On Friday, the committee Zeldin for Congress announced incumbent Congressman Lee Zeldin filed 7500 signatures with the Board of Elections. The signatures were filed across four party ballot lines to qualify for the Republican, Conservative, Independence, and Reform Party ballot lines.

“To receive this amount of support so early in the election year is amazing, and speaks volumes about the grassroots army of volunteers building greatly to ensure a big win in November,” he said.

Meanwhile, on the Democratic side, and then there were five. At the beginning of the year, six hopefuls tossed their hats into the ring to oppose Zeldin. Another, Bruce Miller from Port Jeff, hopped on the bandwagon and hopped off in record time. Last Friday, Brendon Henry announced the suspension of his campaign and pledged to support the winner of the June primary.

Earlier in the week, Perry Gershon announced the filing of more than 3200 signatures, three times the required number. Gershon’s campaign collected the majority of these signatures going door to door in Smithtown and Brookhaven.

“We’ve been overwhelmed with the momentum and energy building for my campaign from every part of the district,” said Gershon in a release. “Long Islanders are fed up with Congressman Lee Zeldin and Donald Trump and ready for change. It’s time for a bold progressive who will stand up to Trump. In Congress, I’ll fight for Medicare for All, work for commonsense solutions to prevent gun violence, and always stand up for a woman’s right to choose. I’m ready to get to work and fight for what’s right.” Gershon is from East Hampton.

Turning the focus to a campaign war chest, on Friday, Kate Browning revealed her campaign’s strong first quarter fundraising numbers. Browning raised more than $200,000 in the first quarter of 2018, with more than $255,000 cash on hand. A majority of the contributions were from individual donors, she reported.

Browning issued the following statement: “I am proud of the support I received in the first fundraising quarter of 2018. Our campaign continues to build a broad coalition of grassroots supporters, unions, and elected officials who believe my blue collar background and experience winning tough elections in a highly Republican district makes me the best candidate to beat Lee Zeldin.”

Additional challengers include David Pechefsky from Patchogue, Vivian Viloria Fisher of East Setauket, and Elaine DiMasi from Ronkonkoma.