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Mar 5, 2018 1:12 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

State Independence Party Endorses Zeldin In Reelection Bid

U.S. Representative Lee Zeldin. DANA SHAW
Mar 7, 2018 9:31 AM

The New York Independence Party has endorsed Republican incumbent U.S. Representative Lee Zeldin in his 2018 reelection bid—months before his Democratic challenger is expected to be chosen by primary voters.

According to a statement posted on Mr. Zeldin’s Facebook page, state and Suffolk County Independence Party Chairman Frank MacKay said: “Lee Zeldin is our leader, our fighter, and our voice in Washington. He has proven time and again that he will work across party lines to accomplish victories for Long Island.”

The endorsement was made before Mr. Zeldin’s challenger is even known, as the Democratic primary election is not until June and seven candidates are currently vying to challenge Mr. Zeldin in the fall.

Mr. MacKay did not respond to requests for comment.

In 2014, in Mr. Zeldin’s first run at the seat, he successfully dislodged 12-year Democratic Congressman Tim Bishop, Mr. Bishop got the Independence Party’s endorsement. Consequently, he received 4,878 votes from the Independence Party line, representing 2.82 percent of his total 78,722 votes. In total, 172,757 votes were cast in that election.

For the next election in 2016, the Independence Party crossed the aisle to endorse Mr. Zeldin instead of his challenger, former Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst. Mr. Zeldin received 5,920 votes on the Independence line, 1.83 percent of his total 188,499 votes. Mr. Zeldin won the contest, and a total of 323,777 votes were cast.

As has been true with many recent U.S. congressional races, the Southampton Town Independence Party chairman, State Assemblyman Fred Thiele Jr.—who had himself considered a run against Mr. Zeldin this year—did not support the state and county chairman’s decision.

“I don’t agree with this specific choice, but I respect his opinion,” said Mr. Thiele in an interview on Friday.

It is also not the first time that Mr. MacKay’s choices have upset local officials. “This has happened in a couple of races before. I supported Anna vigorously, and the Independence Party didn’t. I supported Tim Bishop vigorously, and the Independence Party sometimes did and sometimes did not,” he added.

Mr. Thiele said he intends to support the Democratic candidate again this year, no matter whom that turns out to be. “Even though we don’t yet know the candidate, any of the seven would be superior to our current representative,” he said.

“I did not know about the endorsement and I wasn’t consulted at all—nor would I be,” he said. “Frank MacKay does the state and Suffolk County endorsements for difference races across the state, and the state chairman doesn’t have to consult me as the leader of Southampton Town.”

Elaine Johnson, the East Hampton Town Independence Party chair, did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

Mr. Thiele added that he does not possess any insight into the party’s decision to make its endorsement before it becomes clear who Mr. Zeldin’s opponent will be. “I don’t quite know what to make of that,” he admitted.

Besides the national contests Mr. Thiele alluded to, Mr. MacKay stirred up some controversy in 2009, when he bucked the Southampton Town branch candidate picks for Town Board in favor of their Republican challengers. Then, in 2011, he again vetoed the Democratic candidates chosen by the Southampton Town and East Hampton Town Independence Parties to endorse Republicans.

“I don’t always agree with all endorsements, but I like the fact that we can all express different opinions,” Mr. Thiele said.

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It's ovah.
By SlimeAlive (1181), Southampton on Mar 5, 18 3:09 PM
1 member liked this comment
It's a new and wonderful day America. God Bless the working people of America aka Republicans.
By P. Revere (152), hampton Bays on Mar 5, 18 3:44 PM
You know...liberals can't be the educated elite and lazy good-for-nothings at the same time.
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (8265), HAMPTON BAYS on Mar 5, 18 3:50 PM
Of course they can. You think education and work ethic are the same? I know plenty of highly educated lazy people.
By dnice (2346), Hampton Bays on Mar 5, 18 3:57 PM
You ignored "good for nothings"

Higher education is positively correlated with professional achievement and economic success.
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (8265), HAMPTON BAYS on Mar 5, 18 4:15 PM

'Cause hitting the books requires zero work ethic, or a significant investment of one's time.

It is to laugh...
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Mar 5, 18 8:50 PM
Hey Z, quick question: What do Walt Disney, Sam Walton, Steve Jobs, Richard Branson, Dave Thomas, Larry Ellison, Michael Dell and Bill Gates have in common?
By dnice (2346), Hampton Bays on Mar 6, 18 7:24 PM
They all educated their children extensively?
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (8265), HAMPTON BAYS on Mar 6, 18 8:01 PM
Guess again.
By dnice (2346), Hampton Bays on Mar 6, 18 8:31 PM
None graduated college.
By June Bug (2680), SOUTHAMPTON on Mar 6, 18 8:42 PM
They were all making loads of money so a degree was pointless?
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (8265), HAMPTON BAYS on Mar 6, 18 8:44 PM
Haha Fore, that may be true but Juney B is correct. The point I am failing to make is education level does not necessarily mean success. In my experience, which is a small sample, success has been a result of determination more than potential.
By dnice (2346), Hampton Bays on Mar 6, 18 8:53 PM
You still have to hit the books. Academic credit on paper or not.
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Mar 7, 18 12:00 AM
Advice for kids: unless you're Bill Gates or want to do manual labor, go to school.
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (8265), HAMPTON BAYS on Mar 7, 18 5:44 AM
Mr. Revere, do you think god only recognizes republicans? Just thinking that might be a little biased and short sighted.
By Fred s (3321), Southampton on Mar 5, 18 3:46 PM
Frank MacKay? Never heard of him. How many relatives does he have working for Republican legislators? Bet you Fred Thiele wont be endorsing Zeldin. Won't make a difference come November.
By harbor (415), East Hampton on Mar 5, 18 4:48 PM
Remember that name, Frank McKay -- this may be the year that McKay's Suffolk County Independence Party fiefdom takes a big hit, and people are indicted.

By Frank Wheeler (1826), Northampton on Mar 5, 18 7:22 PM
Zelden won the support of another significant political party, yet this liberal rag chooses to dedicate the entire article to the hurt feelings of Fred Thiele Jr. complaining about the endorsement. Ha! So great to see the country and the East End coming back under Republican leadership!
By BillWillConn3 (180), Southampton on Mar 5, 18 8:02 PM
Maybe it will end up the grand failure Kansas has become?

I suppose you can only hope...
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Mar 5, 18 8:51 PM
Which prompts a little contrast:

Republican hysteria over taxes, government regulation, and sanctuary cities is factually wrong.
Want proof? California has all 3 and now its very liberal governor leaves office with a massive budget surplus and a strong economy.
By June Bug (2680), SOUTHAMPTON on Mar 5, 18 9:15 PM
1 member liked this comment
East End Under Republican Leadership? East End is populated by smart people and therefore is run by Dems rather than corrupt mid-Island pols. Try Googling MacKay and try not to choke on the swamp water.
By harbor (415), East Hampton on Mar 5, 18 9:50 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Mar 5, 18 10:01 PM
California has worst 'quality of life' in US, study says... Awards season is in full swing in California, and the Golden State just took home a booby prize of its own.

California ranks dead last among U.S. states in quality of life, according to a study by U.S. News, ranking behind New Jersey (49th) and Indiana (48th).

The ignominious honor reflects California’s low marks in the sub-categories of environmental quality and social engagement. The latter category measures voting ...more
Mar 8, 18 10:06 AM appended by joe hampton
The problem is stupid liberal Californians are now trying to escape into other states and ruining them, like they ruined California. We should put a fence around California to keep the loser liberals in there.
By joe hampton (3461), The Hamptons on Mar 8, 18 10:06 AM
Nunberg: Mueller Has ‘Something’ on Trump

lol,Everybody has something on Trump. We hear it almost every day. It's getting old.

It looks like President Trump WILL be ousted .... by the 22nd Amendment on January 20, 2025. Until then, MAGA!
By 27dan (2854), Shinnecock Hills on Mar 6, 18 12:52 AM
1 member liked this comment
Most East End residents work for a living, Lee Zeldin is doing a fine job representing us.
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Mar 6, 18 12:13 PM
Trump: Tariffs Will Be Done ‘In a Loving, Loving Way

The globalists are shrieking about this, he must be doing something right...TRUMP is willing to fight for the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA....
I LOVE THIS GUY... Fair trade is good trade ! MAGA!
By They call me (2826), southampton on Mar 6, 18 6:05 PM
Censorship and silencing dissent is the way of today's fascists, who pose in plain sight as democrats, teachers, students and journalists and mega tech giants.we must developer alternatives to you tube and twitter and very fast!
By They call me (2826), southampton on Mar 6, 18 6:08 PM
Yes TCM I agree, we need the DOJ to immediately begin investigating Twitter, Google and Facebook for anti-trust violations. Sessions is useless. Trump should have fired him already. It seems to me that some deep state operative is extorting sessions into inactivity with nsa or fbi data-mined skeletons from his own closet. Fire the clown already !
By Undocumented Democrat (2065), southampton on Mar 6, 18 6:12 PM