Quick 24 News
News Blog

Historic LI House race features two gay candidates


Two openly gay pols are vying for a congressional seat in Long Island in a historic first for the United States.

Robert Zimmerman, 68, a communications executive, and George Santos, 34, a Wall Street investor, are facing off in New York’s third district covering Oyster Bay, Glen Cove, North Hempstead and a slice of northeastern Queens.

“It’s a landmark. It’s an absolute landmark,” said Ken Sherrill, a Hunter College political scientist and former Democratic district leader who was New York’s first openly gay elected official.

In interviews with The Post, both candidates said they recognized the historic nature of the race.

“For me there’s a great sense of history to the moment that I take very seriously and believe is very important,” Zimmerman said. “People forget what it was like to be gay in the 70s when I was growing up. I used to go to the diner in Great Neck by myself because I was embarrassed to tell my folks I didn’t have a date for the dance. I was told there were doctors who could make me better.”

Santos said he felt his nomination showed his party was welcoming of LGBT Americans.

Democrat candidate Robert Zimmerman supports Gov. Kathy Hochul’s reelection campaign.
Democrat candidate Robert Zimmerman supports Gov. Kathy Hochul’s reelection campaign.
@zimmermanforny/Instagram
Republican candidate George Santos talks to constituents.
Republican candidate George Santos talks to constituents.
georgeforny.com

“I think it shows that a lot of what the media puts out there that Republicans are homophobic and not accepting is just not true. I have plenty of support from the local Republican party. I have been nominated twice in a row with no opposition,” he said.

Both, however, were adamant that that’s where the similarities ended.

Zimmerman took shots at Santos for his apparent opposition to abortion rights and President Biden’s bipartisan infrastructure bill. While Santos said his opponent had an agenda that “does not speak to the issues we have today.”

Democrat candidate Robert Zimmerman has criticized George Santos’ pro-life abortion stance.
Democrat candidate Robert Zimmerman has criticized George Santos’ pro-life abortion stance.
@zimmermanforny/Instagram
Democrat candidate Robert Zimmerman
Political analysts claim the race for New York’s third district congressional district is extremely competitive.
zimmermanforcongress.com
Republican candidate George Santos said he appeals more to small businesses.
Republican candidate George Santos said he appeals more to small businesses.
George Santos for Congress NY-3/

Democrats have been sending openly gay candidates to congress for decades, like former Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank, it’s been a slower path for Republicans.

The GOP under President George W. Bush supported a Constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage in the mid-2000s and most recently, a wide majority of the party voted against codifying same-sex marriage as the law of the land.

Though the seat leans Democrat, the race is one of the most competitive in the country. Polling last month from RMG Research found Zimmerman with 42% support, and Santos with 41%. A decisive 14% bloc said they were still unsure. The seat became open this year after Rep. Tom Suozzi declined to seek reelection to instead mount an unsuccessful run for governor.





Source link

Comments are closed.