Reprinted from the Southampton Press from this week
By Michael Koegler
I have been following the race in NY01 from the very beginning of the primary season. The first time I met Perry Gershon was at the Democratic candidate’s forum held at the StonyBrook College campus in Southampton on January 6th. At that time there were six candidates vying to unseat incumbent Republican Lee Zeldin in this year’s general election. All of the candidates made their pitches regarding healthcare, gun control and issues related to international relations such as moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem. I had not made up my mind as to whom I would support and went to the event with an open mind. I listened to all of the candidates articulate their positions on many of these important issues and decided that Perry Gershon was the best one of the group to challenge Lee Zeldin in the general election.
Fast-forward nine months and here we are six weeks away from one of the most important elections in the history of the United States. That is a bold statement so let me try to explain why I feel that way.
There used to be a time not too long ago when I was a Republican. I switched my affiliation after the 2008 financial crisis because I felt that the Republican Party had lost its way as a result of the Tea Party and the ultra-partisan politics that they ushered in. No one represents the ultra-partisan Tea Party politics in this country more than Lee Zeldin.
During his term in office, Lee Zeldin has showered praise on Donald Trump and demonized all of those that have been critical of him and his administration. He has enabled Trump’s criticism of the press, FBI, justice department, intelligence community and anyone else that happens to be the target of a Trump tweet storm. He is not willing to provide a check to Trump’s power and been nothing less than a Trump sycophant, parroting his hateful and petty rhetoric without regard for the damage it causes our Democracy. Zeldin has also perpetuated many of Trump’s conspiracy theories, including his claims that there was no election interference by the Russian government and that the Mueller investigation is a witch hunt.
It is one thing to play partisan politics, but another thing altogether when you fail in your responsibility to defend our Democracy and the constitution. Zeldin’s unwillingness to keep a check on Donald Trump is the single biggest reason to vote for Perry Gershon in November. To be clear, I do not believe that Trump should be impeached, but we desperately need a check on his power. Lee Zeldin is not willing to do that, but Perry Gershon is. It is time for change.