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Jun 27, 2018 7:11 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Perry Gershon Wins Democratic Primary For Congressional Seat Tuesday

Perry Gershon casting his own ballot in Tuesday's Democratic primary vote.
Jun 27, 2018 11:39 AM

East Hampton resident Perry Gershon won Tuesday night's Democratic Party congressional primary in a crowded field that split the party's votes among five would-be challengers to U.S. Representative Lee Zeldin's seat on Capitol Hill.

With all votes from the polling places counted just before 11 p.m. on Tuesday night, Mr. Gershon had garnered about 35 percent of the vote and an approximately 1,100 vote lead over Kate Browning, a former Suffolk County legislator from Brookhaven Town. Ms. Browning earned about 30 percent of the vote. Another former county legislator, Vivian Viloria-Fisher, was a distant third with about 16 percent of the vote, followed by David Pechefsky and Elaine DiMasi.

“Tonight’s victory shows Suffolk County is energized and ready for change," Mr. Gershon said in declaring victory. "A year ago, I decided to run for Congress because I was fed up with career politicians, like our own Congressman, Lee Zeldin, who put special interests and partisan politics ahead of people."

Turnout for the primary was very high compared to the last Democratic primary for the 1st Congressional District race. More than 21,000 Democrats cast ballots on Tuesday, nearly double the number that cast ballots in the 2016 Democratic primary for the same seat, which saw just over 12,000 votes cast for the two candidates, Anna Throne-Holst and David Calone—a total surpassed on Tuesday by Mr. Gershon and Ms. Browning alone.

That acrimonious race and the dissatisfaction it had left with the ultimate nominee among many Democrats loomed large over this years primary campaign, in which the candidates leveled almost no criticisms at one another and vocally pledged to support whoever of the five won the nomination.

Mr. Gershon, who worked in real estate financing, has never held or run for elected office before. He was the first candidate to declare his intentions to challenge Mr. Zeldin. A New York City businessman he switched his permanent residence to a vacation home he had owned in East Hampton for 20 years in order to run in the 1st District race.

He also outpaced the rest of the field in fundraising—in addition to loaning his own campaign huge sums of money.

In the most recent campaign fundraising disclosures, Mr. Gershon reported having raised more than $2.1 million, though he personally loaned more than $1 million to his own campaign. He has spent about $1.6 million on the primary race. Ms. Browning raised $490,000 and spent about $377,000. Mr. Pechefsky raised $235,000, Ms. Viloria-Fisher about $151,000, and Ms. DiMasi about $93,000.

Mr. Gershon will now enter what is certain to be a very costly campaign against Mr. Zeldin, a Republican from Shirley, who is seeking a third term representing the 1st Congressional District.

Mr. Gershon has made it clear during the primary race that he will challenge Mr. Zeldin on his allegiance to President Donald Trump and seek to rally voters who are unhappy with Trump administration policies. He has said his focus will be on improving health care and economic opportunity for Long Islanders.

In a statement released after the Democratic primary, Mr. Zeldin's camp made it clear that they will attack Mr. Gershon's New York City roots, repeatedly referring to him as "Park Avenue Perry."

"It's amazing that the Democratic Party was so desperate that they nominated a liberal Manhattan Democrat who has never even voted here in a November election for Congress," the Zeldin campaign's statement said. "Having just changed his residency into the district from Manhattan this past year, he has more in common with radicals like Bill DeBlasio and Nancy Pelosi than the residents of our Congressional District. The east end of Long Island is not NYC or San Francisco and to think otherwise proves just how out of touch Park Avenue Perry really is."

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Perry Gershon is the best you can do? You deserve to loose to Zeldin looser Democrats. What was good about him? More commercials that was his qualifications? Loosers...
By Toma Noku (616), Southampton on Jun 27, 18 7:34 AM
At least we can spell.
By eagleeye (82), Sag Harbor on Jun 27, 18 8:42 AM
Looooosers...LOL. Can you spell:Z-E-L-D-I-N? That's the guy you just re-elected to Congress. 65% of your party voted against the out-of-towner. Remember Famous Amos Goodman? You had a highly qualified legislator and local in Kate Browning with a record of defeating Republican candidates consistently in Brookhaven. What did you choose
with only 35% of the vote? A corporate structured mortgage broker with a second home in East Hampton. Remember 2008 and subprime mortgage? Well now you have ...more
By V.Tomanoku (790), southampton on Jun 27, 18 9:16 AM
Unfortunately for Dems, you are 100% correct. Browning was the best candidate for the job of defeating Zeldin. Didn't see one Browning sign.. NOT ONE... east of the Shinnecock Canal. Inexcusable.
By harbor (415), East Hampton on Jun 27, 18 9:31 AM
"Loser" is someone who registers two accounts on a local newspaper website in order to post multiple rants in the comments section. Just FYI
By johnj (1024), Westhampton on Jun 27, 18 11:34 AM
Who was happier with yesterday's primary results.. Gershon or Zeldin? He has 0 chance of beating Zeldin. Dems are delusional if they think they can win in this district with a "progessive" candidate. Dumbfounding.
By harbor (415), East Hampton on Jun 27, 18 8:57 AM
The First NY Congressional district is hotly contested, Zeldin-vs-Gershon will be a close race. Nearly $6 Million has already been raised for this race, the second most of any congressional race in NYS. Unfortunately, the candidate with the most money backing them is likely to win. Bombastic statements on Internet threads are impotent, if you want your preferred candidate to win, open your wallet and donate to their campaign. If doing so disgusts you, donate anyway, then advocate for campaign ...more
By Aeshtron (431), Southampton on Jun 27, 18 9:41 AM
Congratulations to Perry Gershon! Turnout and the mood of the country in early November will be the controlling factors in this contest.

We can’t do much about the national mood four months from now, but we can do plenty about turnout, starting today.

One lesson from the surprise upset of veteran Congressman Joe Crowley by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in Queens is that momentum right now is with the progressive Democrats. It’s all about working people — that’s ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Jun 27, 18 10:45 AM
2 members liked this comment
By V.Tomanoku (790), southampton on Jun 27, 18 11:00 AM
The Dems on Long Island seem to think that running carpetbaggers is the way to go. Perry Gershon is a Citiot. He’s not from Long Island and only changed his residency to his summer house so he could run against Lee. This fact alone tells me not to vote for him...

Good luck with a rich NYC Carpetbagger, George.
By Draggerman (955), Southampton on Jul 1, 18 7:37 AM
Go Zeldin!!! My check is on the way!!!!
By Taz (725), East Quogue on Jun 27, 18 10:55 AM
Meant to reply - not like - but please...go ahead and forget about mailing said check. He doesn't need any more money - also he is horrid - the absolute worst! We need to get him and the rest of the backward republicans out. Make way for the future!!
By Polandspring (96), Southampton on Jun 27, 18 3:28 PM
I am very happy to see that Perry Gershon won the Democratic Primary and that all the above Republicans and Neo-Nazi supporters of Zeldin are running scared. FYI, the reason money is a factor in our elections can be directly traced to the Republican controlled "Roberts" Court and the infamous Citizens United ruling. As the wheel of time turns, this too will be corrected.
Make America, America Again
By SpeedRacer (160), Southampton on Jun 27, 18 11:28 AM
2 members liked this comment
Now that that’s over can you please pick up your signs!
By GoldenBoy (351), EastEnd on Jun 27, 18 11:59 AM
...and drop those lame tv spots. Who is advising this guy?
By dnice (2346), Hampton Bays on Jun 27, 18 2:28 PM
Same people who told Killary she has a 99% chance to win.
By Preliator Lives (437), Obamavillie on Jun 28, 18 8:20 AM
So the Zeldin campaign is calling Gershon Park Avenue Perry. Really? OK, forget the high road with these guys. Time to break out Trump's Little Man, Zeldin Stole My Health Care, Pre-Dawn Raids, Don 't Take My Child, Little Lee & Big Donald, Child Abusers, Putin's Boys, Fake Summit, etc.

Speaking of Park Avenue Perry, in my post above, I sort of left the candidate to his own devices on the carpetbagger issue. It's really not enough to say "Perry has to work hard," so let me offer some ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Jun 27, 18 3:31 PM
Congrats to Perry! Our phone poll has Little Lee down 5 points this morning.
Thanks to all who participated. Let's all welcome Little Lee tom'w @ Smithtown
Elks with his buddies convicted criminal Sebby Gorka and Lyin' Sean Spicer.
Will he be down 10 points after those jokers show up with him?
By allpeoplecount (69), eastport on Jun 27, 18 8:37 PM
2 members liked this comment
Hillary is up by 16%, so you’re good on that front too.
By SlimeAlive (1181), Southampton on Jun 28, 18 2:27 AM
Democrats will always be behind as long as they keep getting out of town clowns.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Jun 28, 18 1:02 AM
“First, Perry's been coming out here for twenty years, so it's not as though he's some recent arrival who just dropped out of the air.”
By SlimeAlive (1181), Southampton on Jun 28, 18 2:26 AM
1 member liked this comment
Zeldin wins in a landslide.
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Jun 28, 18 6:46 AM
2 members liked this comment
Morning after primary Zeldin signs have popped up everywhere in East Hampton.
Way too many Zeldin and Gershon signs with more than 4 months until election. Should be treated as litter when on public property.
By harbor (415), East Hampton on Jun 28, 18 11:12 AM
I could not be happier. Finally a real New York City Democrat that will bring a metropolitan sophistication to the office.
By CleanWaters (80), Southampton on Jun 28, 18 11:34 AM
Where's Zeldin's $$$ coming from? NYC? Out of state? Kochs? Texas? Jared and ivanka? Follow the money.
By Falstaff (3), Sag Harbir on Jun 28, 18 12:15 PM
1 member liked this comment
I know where Park Avenue Perry's money won't becoming from; thank you SCOTUS!
By Preliator Lives (437), Obamavillie on Jun 28, 18 12:40 PM
Gershon by 31 lengths.
By Bruce Doscher (9), Hampton Bays on Jun 28, 18 1:20 PM
1 member liked this comment
/\ this post reflects how Perry's supporters view this election. Just a horserace they must win. This person cannot point to a single idea of Perry's to tell you about. That's because none of them benefit local readers of this paper.

Park Avenue Perry - the wrong candidate for the wrong community at the wrong time for the wrong reasons.

If you love your home, vote for someone who has lived here his entire life just like you and your friends have.
By SlimeAlive (1181), Southampton on Jun 29, 18 6:14 AM
Remember folks: living here is no qualification to be a trustee or town attorney, but it's a non-negotiable from your congressional reps.
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (8265), HAMPTON BAYS on Jun 29, 18 8:32 AM
Until the Dems and the liberal Trump hating press wipe the rabid froth from their faces and get serious with a platform that enchants the electorate and reporting that shows less bias, you're wasting your time. No one loves a hater. Like it or not Ms Waters is your face, live with it or change.
By TheTurtle (143), Southampton on Jun 28, 18 3:20 PM
I have no problem with vocal opposition to the president being the party platform.

After all, it worked splendidly for Republicans during the Obama administration.
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (8265), HAMPTON BAYS on Jun 28, 18 3:27 PM
Is that an endorsement of Mad Maxine's call for leftists to harass and ostracize law abiding citizens due to their political opinions?!
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Jun 28, 18 4:11 PM
Harassment is a crime, protest is protected speech. I believe her call was to publicly protest administration officials, and yes, I'm fine with that.
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (8265), HAMPTON BAYS on Jun 28, 18 4:52 PM
You would be wrong, she was calling for Leftist to harass and assault anyone who disagrees with them anywhere, anytime. All you need to do is add the brown shirts and you know what the modern Democrat Party has become.
By Preliator Lives (437), Obamavillie on Jun 29, 18 7:58 AM
That's a lie. She called for protests “if you see anybody from that cabinet."

Not Trump supporters. Not conservative Republicans.

Cabinet. Members.
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (8265), HAMPTON BAYS on Jun 29, 18 8:11 AM
Save Democrat from themselves and beat Zeldin. Write in KATE BROWNING on election day.
By V.Tomanoku (790), southampton on Jun 28, 18 6:17 PM
Would you feel the same if it was Hussein Obama’s people being harassed? Somehow I doubt it.
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Jun 28, 18 8:51 PM
Hey bigfresh, why do people on the right refer to Barack Obama as Hussein Obama? Just curious.
By Fred s (3321), Southampton on Jun 29, 18 5:37 AM
If you think the real estate industry has played a part in making NY-1 unaffordable for the children of locals, you would be accurate.

So why vote for Park Avenue Perry, a Manhattan mortgage broker, who is part of the recent wave of neuvo riche' that have used every inch of the footprint on their real estate to build a steroid injected trophy?

Who do you think is hiring the trade parade? Park Avenue Perry the carpetbagging savior of the NY City crowd who he represents does not ...more
Jun 29, 18 6:10 AM appended by SlimeAlive
It's a ''parade'' because they aren't from here. But, you knew that too.
By SlimeAlive (1181), Southampton on Jun 29, 18 6:10 AM
How is the continued employment of tradesmen not having our best interests at heart?

Sounds to me like something someone with a desk job would say.
Jun 29, 18 6:16 AM appended by Fore1gnBornHBgrown
Your addendum is very ignorant. HB is full of tradesmen, you clot.
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (8265), HAMPTON BAYS on Jun 29, 18 6:16 AM
Slime, we have a service industry out here. Thats the lamest excuse I’ve ever heard for not voting for someone.who do you think is supporting the vast majority of people out here?
By Fred s (3321), Southampton on Jun 29, 18 6:22 AM
Kate Browning received 651 and Gershon received 493 votes in East Hampton. This fact is contrary to Zeldin's claim that Gershon is out of touch with people who live in Brookhaven. We all need to stop following the crowd and start leading. Ad hominem campaigning and reporting (directed against a person rather than the position they are maintaining) is the primary fault of the Republican Party. Perry Gershon is an East Hampton resident, but he represents all District 1 Democrats. The truth is that ...more
By Eastcreek (3), Cutchogue on Jun 29, 18 8:45 AM
Not a single mention of policy in you Ad hominem post.
By even flow (1023), East Hampton on Jun 29, 18 9:33 AM
Let’s just talk about the incumbent for a moment. Correct me if I’m wrong, but my recollection is that Trump’s Little Man Lee Zeldin voted to take away our health care and build Trump’s useless border wall. In fact, Little Lee has voted with Big Donald 100% of the time, with just one exception.

What was the exception? Zeldin, basically with a gun to his head, voted against the Trump tax bill that took away our federal income tax deduction for state and local taxes. ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Jun 29, 18 9:15 AM
2 members liked this comment
At what point do you seething democrats stop the violent rhetoric? Stop talking about guns to heads!
Jun 29, 18 9:31 AM appended by even flow
It was only knife fight until obama brought a gun to it.
By even flow (1023), East Hampton on Jun 29, 18 9:31 AM
What violent rhetoric? That's a well known and widespread metaphor for being forced to do something you don't want to do.
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (8265), HAMPTON BAYS on Jun 29, 18 9:38 AM
Again I ask the void: what violent rhetoric?
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (8265), HAMPTON BAYS on Jun 29, 18 11:27 AM
Poor even flow playing the victim again.
By Fred s (3321), Southampton on Jun 29, 18 11:05 AM
So Little Lee had a great time in Smithtown last night!
Special Guests:
1. Sebby Gorka - Neo-Nazi & Convicted Criminal
2. Lyin Sean Spicer - Sold more Whoppers than Burger King
3. Jason Miller - Married Trump Chump who knocked up his girlfriend and wanted her to have an abortion. He's pro-life, by the way.
And, of course, they all vote in NY01. Better get that job sweeping out the Supreme Court lobby while you can, Lee.
By allpeoplecount (69), eastport on Jun 29, 18 1:28 PM
After turning CA into the state with the highest taxes and lowest quality of living- where over half of polled citizens would leave if they could- democrats are asking you permission to do the same to the remaining 49.

By even flow (1023), East Hampton on Jun 30, 18 7:43 AM
Fake news: The headline says "Nearly 50 percent of Californians say they want to move out soon" but the poll was specific to Bay Area residents.

Womp womp.
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (8265), HAMPTON BAYS on Jun 30, 18 7:46 AM
Has Little Lee Zeldin yet said Word One about taking babies from their mothers, about throwing families in jail to rot, about filling “private prisons” with people fleeing terror at home?

Nope. No guts, Lee, no spine, no soul. Come November, the people will not return a guy like you to office.

If they just remember. This is a big one, folks. Remember on Election Day all the cruel, heartless things that have been done to families by Trump, and remember that YOUR CONGRESSMAN ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Jun 30, 18 1:27 PM
You think so highly of Perry's ideas that you didn't bother to tell a single member of your audience about them. You simply spewed hate and expect that to work. That is why the blue wave is actually going to be a blue grave.
By SlimeAlive (1181), Southampton on Jul 1, 18 7:58 AM
Didn't you just say up top that tradesmen would benefit from Perry's election?

That seems like one good reason to vote for him.
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (8265), HAMPTON BAYS on Jul 2, 18 7:16 AM
Slime, go back and read the comments from the posters on the right. Virtually every one is some kind of derogatory mean spirited post.i can’t really grasp where you can say the posters on the left spew hate. The vast majority of posts are just pointing out the flat out lies and half truths of the posters. One of your fellow posters even called for a call to arms. A little reflection on your part slime wouldn’t hurt.
By Fred s (3321), Southampton on Jul 1, 18 8:26 AM
1 member liked this comment
It's not about being "honest" or "right" it's just about winning.
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (8265), HAMPTON BAYS on Jul 1, 18 10:29 AM
A far left limousine liberal doesn't represent the ideas and ideals of the East End, most of us here work for a living.
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Jul 2, 18 5:50 AM
Sounds like class envy.
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Jul 3, 18 7:39 PM
More right wing talking points. After seeing the people Zeldin has fund raising for him, I’ll be glad to see him go.
By Fred s (3321), Southampton on Jul 2, 18 9:22 AM
Lee Zeldin does not represent the values of the people of the 1st Congressional District. He has a 93% approval rating from the NRA. He was a co sponsor of the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, which allows out of state concealed carry gun owners to carry a gun in other states including, New York. Lee voted for a law that mainly benefits people from other states bringing more guns into New York! Why would he do that I wonder?
This vote is contrary to the wishes of the people of his district. ...more
By fritzdaddy (35), southampton on Jul 3, 18 4:29 PM
He seriously supports concealed carry reciprocity?

Why is Florida better suited to decide who can carry in New York than New York?
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (8265), HAMPTON BAYS on Jul 3, 18 4:43 PM
Every one of the points mentioned above is another reason to keep Lee Zeldin in office! A tx and spend limousine liberal in no way represents us here.
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Jul 4, 18 7:58 AM
You think someone thousands of miles away should be able to decide who can carry concealed weapons on our streets?
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (8265), HAMPTON BAYS on Jul 4, 18 8:48 AM
Democrats can stay home. This isn’t even going to be close. Zeldin by a mile
By even flow (1023), East Hampton on Jul 4, 18 8:20 AM
1 member liked this comment
I think that if one owns a legal handgun he , or she should be able to carry concealed.
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Jul 4, 18 8:58 AM
Anyone with a handgun bought legally in any of the 50 states should automatically have concealed carry privileges in ALL 50 states?

No, thanks.
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (8265), HAMPTON BAYS on Jul 4, 18 9:55 AM
Why ?
Jul 6, 18 2:05 PM appended by Sturgis
My question is about the 50 states part.....
By Sturgis (611), Southampton on Jul 6, 18 2:05 PM
Why do I think the ability to carry concealed weapons in public should have a higher threshold than mere ownership in the home?
Jul 6, 18 2:13 PM appended by Fore1gnBornHBgrown
I feel like those are connected points: one state shouldn't be able to impose a lower standard for CCW in other states. Arizona should have the full privilege to decide CCW laws in Arizona, not in New York.
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (8265), HAMPTON BAYS on Jul 6, 18 2:13 PM
Rich people like Park Avenue Perry are trying to infiltrate our local government Their goal is to represent part time residents at the EXPENSE and detriment of locals.

Look what has haooen d in Southampton. They were totally taken over by the Southampton Association and Jay, Rainier and the rest.
By even flow (1023), East Hampton on Jul 7, 18 5:33 AM
I thank Perry for running and putting his money where his mouth is. He risked a small fortune to support his values. Our values.

Lee Zeldin supports the values of gun owners from other states over OUR values.

By fritzdaddy (35), southampton on Jul 7, 18 9:13 AM
1 member liked this comment