Lee Zeldin wins in New York, restoring Jewish GOP presence in Congress

Ron Kampeas

WASHINGTON (JTA) — New York State Senator Lee Zeldin defeated Democratic incumbent Tim Bishop to become the sole Republican member of Congress.

Bishop, who has represented the eastern Long Island district for 12 years, conceded defeat late Tuesday, the Sag Harbor Express reported.

Zeldin, 34, campaigned in part by saying it was important to have a Jewish Republican in Congress after Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.), the former majority leader, was defeated by a primary candidate earlier this year.

A veteran of the Iraq War, Zeldin focused his campaign mostly on bread and butter issues and an ethics charge against Bishop during the campaign.

Zeldin drew support from top Jewish Republicans, including Ari Fleischer, the former spokesman for President George W. Bush, and Bill Kristol, the Weekly Standard publisher.