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In LI Congressional Races, GOP Holds Massive Financial Edge

Courtesy of Grechen Liuba Shirley / AP
Political newcomer and activist Liuba Grechen Shirley is challenging long-time incumbent Peter King for Long Island’s 2nd Congressional District.";

The Democratic challengers in two of Long Island’s midterm congressional campaigns are facing steep fundraising obstacles. While the Democratic challengers have raised more money over the past three months, the Republican incumbents hold a big financial advantage.

The difference is millions of dollars.

In the 1st Congressional District, on the far East End, two-term incumbent Lee Zeldin has $1.8 million on hand compared to Perry Gershon’s $500,000. Gershon is a wealthy businessman and loaned his campaign nearly $1 million. Gershon has spent almost three times the amount of money compared to other Long Island races, in part because of a protracted five-way primary.

In the 2nd Congressional District, comprised of Islip and Babylon, Peter King has ten times the amount of money compared to political newcomer Liuba Grechen Shirley. King has been in office for 26 years. Grechen Shirley is running a mostly grassroots campaign impressive enough for some political analysts to tighten their predictions on who will win.

Charles is senior reporter focusing on special projects. He has won numerous awards including an IRE award, three SPJ Public Service Awards, and a National Murrow. He was also a finalist for the Livingston Award for Young Journalists and Third Coast Director’s Choice Award.