GOP Rep. Lee Zeldin faces off against Democrat Nancy Goroff in New York's 1st Congressional District

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  • GOP Rep. Lee Zeldin will face Democrat Nancy Goroff in New York's 1st Congressional District.
  • The district is located in eastern Long Island and is home to the towns of Shelter Island, Southampton, East Hampton, Riverhead, Brookhaven, and Southold.
  • Zeldin defeated his challenger in 2018 for a third term by 4.1 percentage points, his narrowest reelection win during his time in Congress so far.
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Three-term Rep. Lee Zeldin looks to defend his House seat against Nancy Goroff in New York's 1st Congressional District.

The candidates

Zeldin is a veteran of the US Army, an attorney, and is currently a lieutenant colonel in the Army Reserve. From 2011-2014, Zeldin served as the State Senator for the state's 3rd District.

Zeldin was first elected to the House in 2014. In Congress, he serves on the powerful House Committees on Financial Services and Foreign Affairs. In the House, Zeldin has been a prominent voice on national security issues and on bolstering the United States' relations with Israel. 

According to FiveThirtyEight, Zeldin has voted in lockstep with President Donald Trump 88% of the time, but notably broke with his party to vote against the 2018 Republican tax cut bill. 

In his 2018 reelection bid, Zeldin narrowly defeated Democrat Perry Gershon by 4.1%, the closest House race of Zeldin's career.

Goroff, Zeldin's Democratic opponent, is the chemistry department chair and a chemistry professor at Stony Brook University, a position she's held for 23 years.

Her campaign platform is centered upon issues including expanding access to affordable healthcare and lowering the entry age of Medicare, investing in renewable energy and combatting climate change, and criminal justice reform.

If elected, Goroff would be the first woman with a Ph.D. in a scientific field to serve in the Congress, City & State New York recently reported. 

The district

New York's 1st Congressional District is located in the eastern portion of Long Island. It is home to part of Suffolk County and the towns of Shelter Island, Southampton, East Hampton, Riverhead, Brookhaven, and Southold.

The 1st District flipped from backing President Barack Obama in 2012 to voting for President Donald Trump in 2016. 

In the 2016 presidential election, the district voted for Trump over Hillary Clinton by 10 points in a 54-42% split of the vote, according to the Daily Kos. The district narrowly voted for Obama over Mitt Romney by just 0.54% in the 2012 presidential election.

The money race

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Zeldin has raised nearly $7.5 million, spent almost $5.6 million, and has $1.9 million in cash on hand while Goroff has raised over $5.8 million, spent $5.4 million, and has around $423,000 in cash on hand. 

What experts say

The race between Zeldin and Goroff is rated as "leans Republican" by the Cook Political Report and Sabato's Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia Center for Politics, and Inside Elections.

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