Handicapping the 1st CD Dem Primary

Monday, June 25, 2018

Handicapping the 1st CD Dem Primary

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Any who've passed the ol' family homestead this past week may have noticed that there's a Democratic Primary cam­paign sign on our front lawn.

And as some may suspect, this is my wife's doing... she is all in for David Pechefsky, a self-described Progressive in the mold of Bernie Sanders!

She was so committed to the Sanders candidacy that she slept on her youngest daughter's floor two Summer's ago so as to agitate for the man during the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, and after caucusing with some North Fork activists, she's been out canvasing with Pechefsky pamphlets this month.

Purely by happenstance... because there's no pro­gram­ming guide for Cablevision's Public Access channel 22... Jeanne and I got to see a re-airing of last month's Primary Candidate's Debate, and compare the bona fides of the five Democratic hopefuls of the opportunity to un­seat two-term Republican Congressman Lee Zeldin.

Like more of the fare cablecast on Channel 23, the presentation wasn't very polished, but it provided some insights into the choices available.

  • Kate Browning
    A recovering Right-to-Lifer, during her six-terms in the Suffolk County Legislature she's was a member of the Working Families Party before switching her registration to Democrat last year.
  • Elaine DiMasi
    A PhD scientist with 21 years in at Brookhaven National Labs, she's the least political of the three women running... a plus. An environmentalist, she's a strong advocate for renewable energy and clean water.
  • Perry Gershon
    A former lender for commercial real estate investments, his is the best-funded of any of the primary candidates. Gershon's been running a professionally produced television commercial all over Eastern Long Island for the past six weeks.
  • David Pechefsky
    This is the guy whose campaign has motivated my wife's recent activism. Kinda goofy-looking, he's obviously bright, articulate and not much of a political person, all qualities to recommend him.
  • Vivian Viloria-Fisher
    Another graduate of the Suffolk County Legislature where she served six of her 12 years as Deputy Presiding Officer. Like Kate Browning (Ireland), Viloria-Fisher is an immigrant from the Dominican Republic.

(Fuller details of this Tuesday's primary election may be found on Ballotpedia.)

The choice...

Not hard from where I sit, but then I'm not eligible to vote.

The most odious candidate on the five is the guy spending the most money: Gershon. His TV spots reveal him as a complete and utter fraud, a shirt and a smile who's taken positions on issues about which he clearly has no idea, other than "I'm running as a Democrat and that's how Democrats feel."

The two six-term graduates of the County Legislature give me major pause because they now consider themselves career politicians, #1, and #2, their status as immigrants mitigate again their support for stronger borders, probably second only to the opioid crisis as the country's biggest problem.

That leaves a couple of "regular joes," Jeanne's choice David Pechefsky, and the scientist, Elaine DiMasi.

My neighbor George Lynch, likely recovering from a cere­bral event upon spotting the Pechefsky sign on our lawn, is arguably the most voluble of the Southampton Town Democrats (with portfolio) commenting on 27East (as, among other cognomens, "Turkey Bridge") has opined that any of the primary candidates would have no problem beating Lee Zeldin this November.

Br'er Lynch might be right... the biggest thing Zeldin had even had going for him is that he wasn't six-term incum­bent Tim Bishop.

Whether Zeldin is as closely anchored to President Donald Trump as Bishop was tethered to House Majority/Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's apron strings, is a case that whoever wins Tuesday's Primary will have to make.

No matter... there will almost certainly be a split vote in this household this Fall.

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