House Majority Leader Eric Cantor is set to attend a $500-per-person luncheon Saturday in Quiogue for New York State Senator Lee Zeldin’s congressional campaign—just days after Cantor lost a Republican primary in his home district in Virginia.
The fundraiser is at the home of Carol and Jerry Levin and is expected to raise $100,000. While the base price is $500 per person for a one-hour luncheon, a $1,000 contribution gets an extra half hour plus a photo with the guests of honor.
Zeldin’s primary opponent, George Demos, of Stony Brook, seized on the moment of Cantor’s loss to tea party challenger Dave Brat.
“Tonight liberal establishment politician Eric Cantor was crushed in his Republican Primary because of his vote to fully fund Obamacare,” Demos was quoted as saying in a statement from his campaign Tuesday. “On June 24th, Republicans in New York’s First District will defeat Eric Cantor’s chosen establishment politician Liberal Lee Zeldin, who also voted to fund Obamacare in New York.
“Cantor is scheduled to campaign on Long Island for Zeldin this Saturday. Perhaps they can discuss their horrendous votes to fund Obamacare,” Demos continued.
Zeldin maintains that, as a state senator, he has never voted to fund the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, in New York State. Cantor has repeatedly called for and voted for its repeal on the federal level. And both identify as conservatives.
The winner of the primary will challenge incumbent Democrat Tim Bishop for the First Congressional District seat.
Bishop’s campaign responded to news of the Cantor event with a fundraising email. “[House Speaker John] Boehner and Cantor are dead-set on getting Zeldin through the primary so he can faceoff against me in the general election,” the email states, before going on to ask supporters to help the campaign reach its goal of 100 new donors before Saturday’s event.
Zeldin first ran for Congress against Bishop in 2008, garnering 42% of the vote. He then ran for the state Senate in 2010, ousting incumbent Brian Foley, and he was re-elected in 2012, defeating challenger Francis Genco
Demos ran in a three-way Republican primary in 2010, finishing second after Randy Altshuler. Christopher Nixon Cox finished third. Demos and Altschuler both threw their hats back into the ring in 2012, though Demos dropped out before the GOP primary, citing his pending nuptials.