I’ve grown to be a big fan of Dan Bongino (Congressional candidate for Maryland this cycle, ran for Senate last). If you aren’t familiar you should be. His retail politics game is just insane, and because he’s also a former New Yorker, I would make it a point to try and get him to move back home and run here. When I spoke to him last August, after finding out he used to live in Smithtown, we started talking about Long Island, and while he had rejected my latest recruitment effort, mentioned that he had a friend who was considering a run.
My surprise last week, when I saw a picture on Facebook, was that the friend in question was Lee Zeldin.
It’s not really a secret that I’m a Lee Zeldin fan. I’ve interviewed him for FTR Radio. He was in my top 7 list I made for Misfit Politics. Even when I had hosted a town hall meeting for the YRs a few years back, Lee was the first person I thought to ask to speak. In a deep blue state, with a Republican Party known for taking a “shut up and wait your turn” attitude towards anyone under 40, Zeldin, in his rookie term (and in his early 30s), managed to lead the charge to get the MTA Tax mostly repealed (that cycle’s top campaign issue) AND launched the PFC Joseph Dwyer Program to help combat post-traumatic stress disorder.
If you live on the LI, none of this is really news. So let me address my friends in the conservative movement as a whole, especially since due to the glory of the internet and social media many of us find ourselves becoming fans of officials from outside our district.
Once elected, Lee Zeldin will be one of your new favorite Congressmen.
We all agree, or at least we should, that for our beliefs and policies to be successful, we need to find away to appeal to a broader base and find candidates who can do that, while still promoting those beliefs and those policies. They need to reach out to voters who aren’t friendly to the Republican brand and explain to them not only why we’re right, but also that they‘re aligned with us a lot more than they’ve ever realized. He’s one of us. He’s not afraid to be one of us. And in a state like New York, gets results being one of us.
Lee Zeldin is the prototype. He’s actually one of a few here in New York who are exactly what we need, and when I decided to focus a lot of my blogging specifically to New York, he was one of my inspirations why.
I’m not thrilled about losing him in Albany (though I think there’s a suitable replacement…::cough::DeanMurray::cough::), but he’s exactly what we need in Washington. Get to know him now.