NY 1st CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT

Stony Brook scientist to face Zeldin for Congress seat

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Nancy Goroff, a Stony Brook scientist, was declared the winner of the NY-1 Democratic primary last week, edging out opponent Perry Gershon by 630 votes.

“I am honored to have earned the support of thousands of Democratic voters across New York’s 1st District, and to have earned the Democratic nomination to take on Lee Zeldin,” Goroff said in a statement after the results were tallied.

Goroff has lived in Stony Brook for 23 years, raising two daughters who graduated from Ward Melville High School, and teaching at Stony Brook University. She has been associate provost, interim dean of the Graduate School, and most recently chair of the Chemistry Department.

“They’re really excited about getting a scientist into office,” Goroff told the Advance in a phone interview about the voters with whom she has connected.

Goroff accused the Trump Administration and Zeldin of ignoring facts when it comes to climate change, the environment, COVID-19, and other issues.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Goroff ’s campaign was run almost entirely online. People were not able to go door-to-door or hold events, but she said over 200 volunteers made phone calls and texted potential voters. It is unclear how those procedures will continue moving forward, but Goroff said her campaign “will follow whatever public health experts say is prudent and appropriate.”

The primary saw record numbers of votes compared to previous years, and saw more than double the votes from the 2018 primary. Goroff earned 17,905 votes, Gershon earned 17,275 and Bridget Fleming earned 13,696.

“I will remain visible, fighting with Nancy for the issues I care deeply about, and I look forward to continuing to work towards a better America, New York, and most especially, a better Long Island,” Gershon said in a statement.

Gershon was the Democratic nominee in the 2018 race against Zeldin, losing in the general election.

“We put together a remarkable grassroots campaign in a very short amount of time, and a lot of that was fueled by energy and activism from voters within my 2nd Legislative District,” Fleming, a Suffolk County legislator from Sag Harbor, said in a statement. “I have called Nancy Goroff to congratulate her and I look forward to supporting her as the Democratic nominee in the November election.”

Zeldin released a statement on his campaign Facebook page after the primary finished.

“As the NY-1 Democratic Party primary concludes and our team ramps up for a huge victory this November, I wanted to take another opportunity to say thank you to all of our volunteers and other awesome supporters who have been absolutely amazing through the years and are all in once again for a successful election night ahead,” Zeldin said. “It’s an honor to represent you. We are battling for the heart and soul of our country and losing is not an option.”

“We’re excited to have Nancy as our Democratic nominee in NY-1,” said Suffolk Democratic Committee chairman Rich Schaffer in a statement to the Advance. “Nancy’s background as a scientist with deep roots in the heart of Brookhaven is going to be a real challenge for Zeldin, who has totally lost touch with the people here in Suffolk County. You see the GOP’s nonsense attack of her for being a ‘radical scientist,’ which shows how much they’re grasping at straws. We need more scientists in Washington, less partisan bickering and more leading based on science and facts.”

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