Lee Zeldin

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Lee Zeldin
Lee Zeldin.jpg
New York Senate District 3
In office
2011 - present
Term ends
January 1, 2015
Years in position 4
Base salary$79,500/year
Per diem$172/full day; $61/half day
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 6, 2012
First electedNovember 2, 2010
Next generalNovember 4, 2014
Term limitsN/A
Bachelor'sUniversity at Albany
J.D.Albany Law School
Military service
Service/branchUnited States Army
Years of service2003-2007
Service branchUnited States Army Reserves
Years of service2007-2009
Date of birthJanuary 30, 1980
Office website
Campaign website
Lee Zeldin campaign logo
Lee M. Zeldin (b. January 30, 1980) is a Republican member of the New York State Senate, representing District 3. He was first elected to the chamber in 2010. He was also a 2014 Republican and Conservative Party candidate seeking election to the U.S. House to represent the 1st Congressional District of New York.[1] Zeldin won both nominations in the primary on June 24, 2014.[2]


Zeldin earned his bachelor's degree in political science from the State University of New York at Albany and his J.D. from Albany Law School. His professional experience includes practicing law at Raiser and Kenniff. Zeldin is currently a Captain in the U.S. Army Reserves. Upon graduating from law school, he received a commission in the Army ROTC as a second lieutenant serving with the Military Intelligence Corps. In 2004, he transitioned to the Judge Advocate General's Corps working as a Federal Prosecutor in the 82nd Airborne Division. In 2006, he was deployed with a paratrooper division to Iraq as a part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. After he returned, he ran for U.S. Congress in 2008 unsuccessfully.

Committee assignments


At the beginning of the 2013 legislative session, Zeldin served on the following committees:

New York Committee Assignments, 2013
Consumer Protection, Chair
Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs
Higher Education
Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities
Investigations and Government Operations


In the 2011-2012 legislative session, Zeldin served on these committees:


Lee Zeldin discusses his key principles[3]

Campaign themes

Zeldin's campaign website highlighted several main issues:

  • Reduce Property Taxes: "Property taxes on Long Island are outrageously high. The 10 highest property taxed counties in the country are in New York. Lee supports reinstating the STAR Property Tax Rebate Program. The Senate Democrats, with Lee's opponent as the deciding vote, eliminated our STAR Property Tax Rebate checks. Young families, seniors and others were relying on these checks to get some much deserved and needed relief from high property taxes."
  • Repeal the MTA Payroll Tax: "Lee's opponent cast the deciding vote to create the MTA Payroll Tax. The MTA “Foley” Payroll Tax is killing small businesses, schools, hospitals, non-for-profits, and local governments in Islip, Brookhaven and throughout Long Island. Entities paying the tax have been forced to lay off employees, cut payroll and watch their profits shrink."
  • Reform Education Funding to Benefit Long Island More: "Long Island deserves its fair share of state school aid. Lee's opponent was the deciding vote to slash Long Island’s share of new state school aid by 62% in 2009. Long Island has between 13% and 17% of our state’s public school enrollment and attendance yet we received ONLY 5% of the new state school aid in return last year. Lee wants to reform our state school aid formula so that Long Island school districts get our fair share from Albany."
  • Create Jobs: "Lee Zeldin started his own small business and he knows that taxes do not create jobs—they kill jobs. As our voice in the State Senate, Lee will cut taxes and unnecessary red tape for businesses in Brookhaven and Islip which will create jobs. Tax incentives should be implemented for companies who create sustainable jobs."
  • Corruption and Dysfunction in Albany: "The culture of corruption and dysfunction in Albany must end. Albany is in need of a full overhaul. For too long, New York has been controlled by “3 men in a room.” Too many of our legislators have been involved in scandals and back room deals. The interests of Islip and Brookhaven are being sold out to the New York City based leadership. Lee will fight to end the dysfunction and special interest influence throughout New York, and limit the role of government in our daily lives."



See also: New York's 1st Congressional District elections, 2014

Zeldin ran in the 2014 election for the U.S. House to represent New York's 1st District. Zeldin won the Republican Party nomination and ran unopposed for the Conservative nomination in the primary on June 24, 2014. The general election took place November 4, 2014.[1]

The National Republican Congressional Committee added Zeldin to their "On the Radar" list in November 2013. According to the NRCC, candidates that make this list receive "...the tools they need to run successful, winning campaigns against their Democratic opponents."[4][5]

U.S. House, New York District 1 Republican Primary, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngLee Zeldin 61.3% 10,283
George Demos 38.7% 6,482
Total Votes 16,765
Source: New York State Board of Elections - Official Election Results


Zeldin's endorsements include:

  • Sen. John McCain[6]
  • The Suffolk County Republican Committee[7]
  • The Suffolk County Conservative Party Chairman Ed Walsh[8]
  • The Suffolk County Corrections Officer Association (SCCOA)[9]
  • The U.S. Chamber of Commerce[10]
  • Former Sen. Alfonse D’Amato[11]
  • Donald Trump[11]
  • Former Sen. Rick Santorum[11]

Cowardly Lion

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) received criticism for an internet post calling Zeldin a coward for not explaining his position on the House GOP budget. The post stated, "Over a month after his House Republicans passed Paul Ryan’s reckless budget, Congressional Candidate Lee Zeldin is still too scared to admit how he would vote for the plan, even though he wants Long Islanders to send him to Congress."[12] A spokesman for the DCCC also posted a photo to Twitter of Zeldin's face superimposed on the body of the Cowardly Lion from the movie, The Wizard of Oz. This attack angered Republicans, especially because Zeldin served in the Army with the 82nd Airborne Division in Iraq. The National Republican Campaign Committee sent Democratic incumbent Tim Bishop and DCCC chairman Steve Israel copies of Dominique Francois' book, 82nd Airborne, in retaliation.[13] Both Israel and Bishop later condemned the attacks on Zeldin, stating that they had not been aware of the comments to be made, and that they disagreed with them.[14]


Following a similar ad from the U.S. Jobs Council, Zeldin released multiple campaign ads against his primary opponent, George Demos, tying him to Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.[15][16]

Lee Zeldin campaign ad attacks Demos

Lee Zeldin campaign ad ties Demos to Pelosi


See also: New York State Senate elections, 2012

Zeldin ran in the 2012 election for New York State Senate District 3. He ran unopposed in the Republican primary on September 13, 2012 and defeated Francis T. Genco (D) in the general election which took place on November 6, 2012.[17][18]

New York State Senate, District 3, General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngLee Zeldin Incumbent 55.8% 51,920
     Democratic Francis T. Genco 44.2% 41,139
Total Votes 93,059


See also: New York State Senate elections, 2010

Zeldin was uncontested in the September 14 Republican primary. Zeldin defeated incumbent Brian Foley (D) in the general election on November 2.[19] In addition to running on the Republican ticket, Zeldin ran on the Independence Party of New York State and Conservative Party tickets.

New York State Senate, General Election Results, District 3 (2010)
Candidates Votes
Green check mark transparent.png Lee Zeldin (R) 41,063
Brian Foley (D) 30,876

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Lee Zeldin is available dating back to 2010. Based on available campaign finance records, Lee Zeldin raised a total of $1,798,106 during that time period. This information was last updated on September 20, 2013.[20]

Lee Zeldin's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 New York State Senate, District 3 Won $760,886
2010 New York State Senate, District 3 Won $1,037,220
Grand Total Raised $1,798,106


Candidates for Congress were required to file up to seven main reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2014 elections season. Below are Zeldin's reports.[21]


Lee Zeldin won re-election to the New York State Senate in 2012. During that election cycle, Lee Zeldin raised a total of $760,886.


In 2010, Zeldin raised a total of $1,037,220 in campaign contributions.[24]

His three largest campaign contributors in 2010 were:

Donor Amount
Senate Republican Campaign Cmte of New York $328,450
Independence Party of New York $18,000
WB Stellar IP Owner LLC $11,000


Zeldin and his wife Diana have two children.

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See also

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External links

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  1. 1.0 1.1 Green Papers, "New candidate," accessed October 8, 2013
  2. Associated Press, "New York - Summary Vote Results," accessed June 24, 2014
  3. YouTube, "Lee Zeldin - New Leadership, A Louder Voice, A Fresh Perspective," accessed June 2, 2014
  4. Roll Call, "House Republicans Put 36 Recruits ‘On the Radar’" accessed November 21, 2013
  5. NRCC Young Guns, "List," accessed March 20, 2014
  6. Roll Call, "McCain Takes Sides in House GOP Primary in New York," accessed May 24, 2014
  7. The Independent, "Suffolk GOP Endorses Lee Zeldin," accessed May 24, 2014
  8. New York State of Politics, "Zeldin Backed By Suffolk Conservative Party," accessed May 24, 2014
  9. Corrections, "Suffolk County Corrections Officer Association (SCCOA) Endorses Senator Lee Zeldin for Congress," accessed May 24, 2014
  10. New York State of Politics, "Zeldin Nets Chamber Of Commerce Endorsement," accessed May 24, 2014
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Newsday, "1st C.D.: Zeldin brings in Cantor to help raise $$ against Demos," accessed June 10, 2014
  12. Jewish Political News & Updates, "NY01- DCCC Calls Jewish Congressional Candidate Lee Zeldin A ‘Coward’," accessed May 23, 2014
  13. New York Post, "GOP offers Congressman a lesson after he called opponent a coward," accessed May 23, 2014
  14. The Washington Times, "DCCC’s Steve Israel slams own committee for email calling Republican ‘coward’," accessed May 24, 2014
  15. NY State of Politics, "Zeldin TV Spot Ties Demos Closely To Pelosi," accessed April 22, 2014
  16. YouTube, "Money Bags," accessed May 5, 2014
  17. State of New York, State Board of Elections, Candidate Petition List, retrieved August 15, 2012
  18. ABC News, "New York unofficial 2012 primary election results," accessed September 13, 2012
  19. New York Times, "NY state legislative election results," accessed February 11, 2014
  20. followthemoney.org, "Zeldin, Lee" accessed September 20, 2013
  21. Federal Election Commission, "Lee Zeldin Summary Report," accessed April 24, 2014
  22. Federal Election Commission, "Lee Zeldin Year-End," accessed April 24, 2014
  23. Federal Election Commission, "Lee Zeldin April Quarterly," accessed April 24, 2014
  24. 2010 campaign contributions
Political offices
Preceded by
New York State Senate District 3
Succeeded by