The race for the East End’s congressional district heated up May 3 when the first Democratic candidate threw her hat in the ring a year ahead of what’s likely to be a closely watched election.
Suffolk County Legislator Bridget Fleming (D-Noyac) declared her candidacy for New York’s First Congressional District currently held U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley), who is poised to forgo seeking a fifth term next year as he mounts a bid for the GOP nomination in the 2021 New York State gubernatorial race.
“For too long, our district has been represented by someone who cared more about his job than he did about those of his constituents,” Fleming said. “It’s time we had a representative who went to Washington to do the work of the people.”
Fleming, a three-term legislator who has represented the South Fork since 2016, previously served on the Southampton Town Council and as a Suffolk County prosecutor. She placed last in 2020’s three-way Democratic primary in the race to unseat Zeldin, which challenger Nancy Goroff lost. Fleming was flanked by local Democratic Party and union leaders who endorsed her latest bid.
“As a tough-as-nails prosecutor, a town councilwoman, and a county legislator, Bridget has the backbone to stand up to both parties in Washington to deliver tax relief for our middle class communities in Suffolk County,” said Babylon Town Supervisor and Suffolk County Democratic Committee Chair Rich Schaffer. “And she has the relationships it’s going to take to make sure we get our fair share from the federal government as we advocate together for a recovery that works for all Long Islanders.”
Chief among the issues she said she’ll focus on, if elected, is repealing the $10,000 State and Local Tax (SALT) deduction cap that all five of Long Island’s current congressional representatives have also been working to undo.
Besides local party leaders, Fleming also had the endorsement of Local 338 RWDSU/UFCW President John Durso.
“The First Congressional District needs a true champion in Congress who will focus on the pocketbook issues that affect our members and their families,” he said. “That champion is Bridget Fleming … We know she will fight for workers’ rights and a brighter future as we navigate out of this pandemic together.”