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Area politicians announce bids for U.S. Congress, NY State Assembly and NY Senate election

Primary and general election season is in full swing as several candidates have officially launched their campaigns to represent New York’s 1st and 2nd districts in Suffolk County.

The Suffolk County Republican and Democratic committees secured their nominations for U.S. Congress and the New York State Assembly and Senate. 

There are a few candidates running to keep their current seat along with some new challengers who have entered the political arena and open positions that will need a vacancy filled come November. 

Here is what we know so far about who is running in the primaries, set for June 25, and the general election scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 5. 



• Rep. Nick LaLota, Republican

1st District Republican Congressman Nick LaLota (Credit: John Griffin)

With his term ending in January 2025, Mr. LaLota is running for reelection and will be on the primary ballot in June. The incumbent congressman was elected in November 2022, winning New York’s 1st District seat that had been held by Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Mastic) since 2015. 

Mr. LaLota is a former Suffolk County Board of Elections commissioner and a former trustee of the village of Amityville. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 2000 and served in the U.S. Navy for eight years.

He currently serves on several House committees, including Homeland Security, Foreign Affairs, Veterans’ Affairs and Small Business. He has sponsored and introduced various legislative bills, such as the Supporting Veteran Families in Need Act, the No Bailout for Sanctuary Cities Act and the Plum Island National Monument Act.


George Santos, Republican

Ex-Congressman George Santos, currently facing 23 felony charges, is seen here recently leaving federal court. (Credit Michael Malazszczyk)

Former U.S. congressman George Santos, who was expelled from the House of Representatives in December 2023, recently announced his campaign to represent New York’s 1st Congressional District in Suffolk County and challenge Mr. LaLota in the June Republican primaries. Before his expulsion, Mr. Santos formerly held the 3rd District seat, representing the North Shore of Nassau County. 

While Congressman of the 3rd District, he presented several bills such as the SALT Relief Act to provide tax relief for working-class families and cosponsored other legislation, like the State Border Defense Act. During his NY-03 campaign run, his platform supported reducing inflation, lowering taxes and becoming an energy-independent country. 

The disgraced congressman has pleaded not guilty to 23 federal felony charges pending against him, including conspiracy, wire fraud, falsification of records, credit card fraud and other alleged crimes.

Nancy Goroff, Democrat

Nancy Goroff (Courtesy photo)

Nancy Goroff is once again seeking the 1st District congressional seat, a position she first ran for against former Rep. Zeldin in 2020. 

In July 2019, when Ms. Goroff announced her initial bid to run for Congress, she said she had spent the prior 22 years teaching at SUNY/Stony Brook and hoped to use her “experience as a scientist to combat global warming, make health care affordable, protect a woman’s right to choose and end the gun violence epidemic.”

Her platform remains unchanged for her 2024 primary campaign. 

John Avlon, Democrat 

John Avalon (Credit: Vaughn Ridley/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

John Avlon is a former CNN commentator and previous editor-in-chief of The Daily Beast. He is also an author and presidential historian, according to his website. 

Mr. Avlon has appeared on a variety of television shows, such as “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” “The Daily Show,” and “Real Time with Bill Maher.” 

In his video announcing his candidacy, he said he is running for Congress to hopefully flip the Republican seat, defend democracy and win the House back from Donald Trump’s “MAGA minions.”


Incumbent Sen. Anthony Palumbo, left, and challenger Sarah Anker (Courtesy photos)


Sen. Anthony Palumbo, Republican 

In 2021, Mr. Palumbo won a seat representing the state Senate’s 1st District, which covers all five East End towns plus a large swath of northern Brookhaven Town. Last month, Mr. Palumbo said he would seek reelection to another two-year term in the Senate. 

Mr. Palumbo was first elected to the New York State Assembly in 2013 after serving as a prosecutor in the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office.

He is a member of the Environmental Conservation, Mental Health, Judiciary, Investigations and Government Operations senate committees. He said his top priorities are boosting the economy, tackling public safety and quality of life issues on Long Island and ensuring schools receive proper state aid. 


Sarah Anker, Democrat 

Sarah Anker of Mt. Sinai served six terms as Suffolk County legislator before she was term-limited. 

In her 13 years as Suffolk County legislator, Ms. Anker said in a previous interview that she has taken an active role in improving the quality of life on Long Island. 

Prior to being elected as legislator, she helmed the creation of Brookhaven Town’s first Energy Department and as its director, implemented the Green Homes Go Solar program, which provided energy efficiency and renewable energy opportunities to residents. 

New York State ASSEMBLY: NY-1 

Stephen Kiely, left, and Thomas John Schiavoni (Courtesy photos)

Rep. Fred Thiele (D-Sag Harbor) announced in February he will not seek reelection to his 1st District Assembly seat in the Nov. 5 election. After 45 years serving the East End in various state and local government positions, as well as nearly 30 years in the state Assembly, Mr. Thiele decided to retire. Two candidates are seeking to fill his vacant seat. 

Stephen Kiely, Republican

Stephen Kiely is a Southold resident and currently the Shelter Island town attorney, the Mattituck Park District attorney, and has been a municipal lawyer for several East End towns including Southold and Southampton and the villages of Greenport and Westhampton Dunes. Mr. Kiely is a former Mattituck Chamber of Commerce board member and is a current member of the Mattituck-Laurel Civic Association. He is also a CYO basketball and PAL lacrosse coach.

His campaign comes shortly after a failed bid for the Southold Town Board in November 2023. 

Thomas John Schiavoni, Democrat 

Thomas John Schiavoni is currently serving as a Southampton Town councilman and lives in North Haven. He has been an active member of local government since 2008, when he was first appointed to the North Haven Village Zoning Board of Appeals. 

Mr. Schiavoni has also served on the Sag Harbor Board of Education, the North Haven Village Board and the Southampton Town Zoning Board of Appeals. 

He is a retired teacher in the Center Moriches School District, where he taught for more than 30 years. Mr. Schiavoni said he began working at his family’s plumbing and heating business in Sag Harbor when he was 3 years old.

This is Mr. Schiavoni’s second time entering the state political ring, as he ran unsuccessfully for a 1st District state Senate seat in 2020.