Lee Zeldin

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Lee M. Zeldin
Lee Zeldin new official portrait.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 1st district
Assumed office
January 3, 2015
Preceded by Tim Bishop
Member of the New York Senate
from the 3rd district
In office
January 1, 2011 – December 31, 2014
Preceded by Brian X. Foley
Succeeded by Thomas Croci
Personal details
Born (1980-01-30) January 30, 1980 (age 38)
East Meadow, New York, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Diana Zeldin
Children 2
Education University at Albany, SUNY (BA)
Union University, New York (JD)
Website House website
Military service
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch  United States Army
Years of service 2003–2011
Rank Major US-O4 insignia.svg
Battles/wars Iraq War

Lee M. Zeldin (born January 30, 1980) is an American lawyer and politician currently serving as a Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He has represented New York's 1st congressional district since taking office in January 2015. The 1st district includes Central and Eastern Suffolk County, including most of Smithtown, as well as the entirety of the towns of Brookhaven, Riverhead, Southold, Southampton, East Hampton, and Shelter Island, and a small portion of Islip.

Early life, education, and military service[edit]

Zeldin was raised in Shirley, Suffolk County, New York and graduated from William Floyd High School in 1998. He received a bachelor's degree cum laude in political science from the University at Albany in 2001 and earned his Juris Doctor from Albany Law School of Union University, New York in May 2003.[1]

After law school, Zeldin received an Army ROTC commission as a Second Lieutenant, assigned to the Military Intelligence Corps of the United States Army. In January 2004, he was admitted to the New York State Bar. In 2006, he was deployed to Iraq with an infantry battalion of paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division. Zeldin also served as a lawyer in the Judge Advocate General's Corps. In 2007, he transitioned from active duty to the Army Reserve where he currently serves with the rank of Major.[citation needed] In 2008, Zeldin started a law practice in Smithtown, New York, which he operated full-time until being elected to New York's 3rd State Senate district in 2010.[1]

New York Senate[edit]


In 2010, Zeldin ran in the New York State Senate's 3rd district, challenging Democratic incumbent Brian X. Foley. Zeldin defeated Foley with 58% of the vote.[2] In 2012, he was re-elected to a second two-year term, defeating Democrat Francis Genco with 56% of the vote.[3]


In January 2011, Zeldin co-sponsored legislation that enacted a 2% property tax cap.[4]

In June 2011, Zeldin voted against the Marriage Equality Act, which the Senate passed 33–29.[5] In a statement after the bill passed, Zeldin said: "It is my belief that marriage should be defined as between a man and a woman."[6]

In December 2011, Zeldin supported a $250 million cut to the MTA payroll tax.[7][8]

In March 2012, Zeldin created the PFC Joseph Dwyer PTSD Peer-to-Peer Veterans Support program as part of the 2012–13 New York State Budget.[9][10]

On January 14, 2013, Zeldin did not vote on the NY SAFE Act, a gun control bill that passed the New York State Senate, 43 votes to 18.[11] In a statement released to the press after the vote, Zeldin said he would have voted against the measure.[12]

In February 2014, Zeldin introduced a bill that sought to halt implementation of the Common Core curriculum for three years.[13] The bill was referred to the Senate Education committee.

On March 17, 2014, Zeldin voted against the New York Dream Act.[14][15]

U.S. Congress[edit]



In 2008, Zeldin challenged incumbent Democratic Congressman Tim Bishop in New York's 1st congressional district. Bishop defeated Zeldin 58%–42%.[16]


On October 6, 2013, Zeldin announced he would seek the Republican nomination to again run against Tim Bishop.[17] Zeldin defeated George Demos in the Republican Party primary[18] and ran unopposed for the Conservative Party nomination in the primary on June 24, 2014. On November 4, 2014, Zeldin defeated Bishop with 54% of the vote.[19][20][21]


In February 2015, the NRCC announced that Zeldin was one of 12 members in the Patriot Program, a program designed to help protect vulnerable Republican incumbents heading into the 2016 election.[22][23]

In the 2016 Republican primary, Zeldin faced no opposition. In the November 8, 2016, general election, he faced Democrat Anna Throne-Holst, a member of the Southhampton Town Board.[24] Zeldin won with just over 58% of the votes.[25]


Zeldin ran unopposed in the 2018 Republican primary. In the November general election, he will face Democratic nominee Perry Gershon and the Working Families Party nominee Patricia Latzman.[26]


Committee assignments[edit]


Zeldin is the Co-Chairman of the Long Island Sound Caucus[citation needed], and is a member of the Climate Solutions Caucus.[27][28] He is a member of the Republican Main Street Partnership.[29]

Political positions[edit]

In July 2015, Zeldin was among nine Republicans who faced criticism after meeting with Oath Keepers, a group of retired military, police and fire department employees. The New York Daily News reported that "the chapter's website includes postings by a member embracing a film that claims the December 2012 Sandy Hook massacre was a hoax and calling President Obama a 'Muslim/Extremist.'"[30]

In March 2016, Zeldin was ranked as the 45th most bipartisan member of the U.S. House of Representatives during the 114th United States Congress (and the eighth most bipartisan member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New York) in the Bipartisan Index created by The Lugar Center and the McCourt School of Public Policy that ranks members of the United States Congress by their degree of bipartisanship (by measuring the frequency each member's bills attract co-sponsors from the opposite party and each member's co-sponsorship of bills by members of the opposite party).[31]


In July 2015, Zeldin attached an amendment to the Student Success Act, to allow states to opt-out of Common Core without penalty.[32] The amendment was passed and signed into law.[33]

Environmental issues[edit]

In 2015, Zeldin had a 14% environmental rating from the League of Conservation voters.[34] He was 29% below average for members of the House of Representatives, and the second lowest rated congressman in the New York delegation.[35]

In April 2015, Zeldin, along with Charles Schumer, the senior United States Senator from New York, introduced the Fluke Fairness Act. The bill would have changed the current system for managing fluke fishing quotas by creating a regional approach to updating quotas and standards based on geographic, scientific, and economic data.[36] The bill did not pass.[37]

On July 15, 2015, Zeldin introduced the Exclusive Economic Zone Clarification Act.[38] The bill proposed to amend the boundary in part of the federal Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). It would give fisheries management of Block Island Sound exclusively to New York and Rhode Island; some Connecticut fishermen said the bill could put them out of business.[39] The bill died in committee.[40]

Also in September 2015, Zeldin, along with Adrienne Esposito, executive director of Citizens Campaign for the Environment, condemned a proposed federal plan for dumping of dredged materials, stating: "We can't just assume that dumping these waste spoils in the Long Island Sound is environmentally benign."[41][42]

In 2016, the League of Conservation Voters awarded Zeldin an 8% rating, which was the worst record in the entire New York State congressional delegation.[43]

Zeldin said in April 2018 that he did not support the Paris Accords in their present form. He expressed concern about “other countries that are contributing to very adverse impacts on our climate but not having the level of responsibility that they need to have in stepping up and making a positive change in their own countries.”[44]

Foreign affairs[edit]

In July 2016, Zeldin criticized President Obama's Iran Nuclear Deal.[45]

In January 2016, the New York Post reported that Zeldin was a no-show in 2015 at 12 of 18 House Committee on Foreign Affairs hearings that dealt specifically with ISIL and with Syria.[46][47]

In February 2016, Zeldin, along with Republican congressmen Mike Pompeo of Kansas and Frank LoBiondo of New Jersey, sought visas to travel to Iran to check the country's compliance with the Iran nuclear deal framework.[48][49] In June, Iran called the request a "publicity stunt" and said it would deny the visas.[50]

Health care[edit]

In May 2015, Zeldin voted for H.R.36, a bill which he co-sponsored, that would prohibit abortions in cases where the probable age of the fetus is 20 weeks or later and would impose criminal penalties on doctors who violate the ban.[51]

In 2015, Zeldin co-sponsored two bills in Congress that would combat Lyme disease. The bills are the Tick-Borne Disease Research and Accountability and Transparency Act of 2015[52] and the 21st Century Cures Act.[53][54]

On September 18, 2015, Zeldin voted for the Defund Planned Parenthood Act of 2015,[55] a bill that would defund Planned Parenthood for one year unless the organization agrees to not provide abortion services.[56][57]

On May 4, 2017, Zeldin voted in favor of repealing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and passing the American Health Care Act.[58][59][60]


Zeldin has said that Israel is “America’s strongest ally," and that Congress must “protect Israel’s right to self-defense.”[61]

Land Management[edit]

In April 2016, Zeldin introduced legislation to prevent the federal government's sale of Plum Island to the highest bidder.[62] In May 2016, his bill unanimously passed the U.S. House.[63]

LGBT rights[edit]

Zeldin has a 48% rating from the Human Rights Campaign regarding his voting record on LGBT rights.[64]

In June 2015, after the United States Supreme Court ruled in Obergefell v. Hodges that state-level bans on same-sex marriage were unconstitutional, Zeldin would not comment about his view of same-sex marriage, but indicated that he believed the issue should have been decided at the state level.[65] A month later, Zeldin signed on as a co-sponsor of the First Amendment Defense Act,[66] a bill whose supporters said was designed to protect Americans who used their religious beliefs to deny services to same sex couples or unmarried pregnant women. Critics of the measure said it will enable people to violate the legal rights of same-sex couples and their children by discriminating against them.[67][68][69]


Zeldin has a "B" rating from NORML regarding his voting record on cannabis-related matters. He has voted twice in support of the Veterans Equal Access Amendment, which includes providing veterans access to medical marijuana per their doctor's recommendation and if it is legal in the state of which they reside.[70]


Appearing on NPR in November 2017, Zeldin said he was not yet satisfied with the proposed GOP tax bill. He complained in particular about the elimination of the state and local tax deduction. That same month, House Speaker Paul D. Ryan canceled plans to attend a fundraiser for Zeldin after the latter voted against the House version of the GOP tax bill.[71] In December, Zeldin called the tax bill “a geographic redistribution of wealth” that takes money from some states while providing tax relief in others. He suggested that the removal of the state tax deduction could have been implemented gradually.[72][73]

Zeldin voted against the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, which passed in December 2017.[74] He supported the corporate tax cuts in the bill but did not approve of the limit for property tax deductions, preferring a cap of $20,000 or $25,000 as opposed to the $10,000 that was in the bill.[75]

Trump administration[edit]

On May 3, 2016, Zeldin endorsed Donald Trump as the Republican presidential nominee [76] Zeldin had previously indicated that he would support the eventual Republican nominee.[77] During the campaign, Zeldin faulted Trump for a comment about Khizr and Ghazala Khan, a Gold Star family whose son Humayun, a Captain in the Army, was killed during the Iraq War, but stated he would continue to support Trump.[78]

In 2017, Zeldin supported Donald Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey, saying it offered the FBI a chance at a "fresh start" to rebuild trust.[79] In May 2018, Zeldin called for the criminal prosecution of former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe.[80] That same month, Zeldin also called for creating a special counsel investigation into the FBI and the DOJ regarding those agencies' investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 election.[81] Zeldin said that the investigations into Russian interference were launched with "insufficient intelligence and biased motivations", with surveillance warrants for Trump campaign staffers being obtained in "deeply flawed and questionable" ways.[81] Zeldin also called for an investigation into the FBI decision to conclude its investigation into the Hillary Clinton email controversy.[81][82]

Veterans affairs[edit]

In February 2015, Zeldin introduced his first bill, to eliminate the dollar limit for loans that the United States Department of Veterans Affairs can guarantee for a veteran.[83] In February 2016, Zeldin proposed federal legislation that would fund a three-year, $25 million nationwide veterans peer support program modeled on one he helped establish while a member of the New York State.[84]

Personal life[edit]

Zeldin's wife, Diana, is a Mormon.[85] The couple has twin daughters, Mikayla and Arianna.[86] They live in Shirley, New York.[1] Zeldin is a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion, and the Jewish War Veterans.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Lee Zeldin". house.gov. Retrieved February 1, 2016.
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  3. ^ "Our Campaigns – NY State Senate 03 Race". ourcampaigns.com. November 6, 2012. Retrieved February 20, 2015.
  4. ^ Civiletti, Denise (November 3, 2014). "Hotly contested — and very expensive — congressional race draws to a close". Riverhead Local. Retrieved June 20, 2016.
  5. ^ "A8354-2011 – NY Senate Open Legislation – Enacts the Marriage Equality Act relating to ability of individuals to marry – New York State Senate". nysenate.gov. Retrieved February 20, 2015.
  6. ^ Lavers, Michael (July 19, 2011). "Fire Islanders Celebrate Passage of Marriage Equality Bill". Fire Island News. Retrieved June 25, 2014.
  7. ^ Hamilton, Colby (December 12, 2011). "NY Governor Cuomo Signs MTA Tax Reduction Into Law". WNYC. Retrieved June 20, 2016.
  8. ^ "Long Island Officials Lobby To Eliminate MTA Payroll Tax". CBS New York. February 3, 2012. Retrieved June 20, 2016.
  9. ^ Fertoli, Annmarie (April 8, 2012). "4 New York Counties Set to Receive Funding for Vets Peer Pilot Program". WNYC News. Retrieved April 28, 2016.
  10. ^ LaRocco, Paul (October 14, 2013). "Suffolk: Bellone credits Zeldin on state PTSD program". Newsday. Retrieved June 26, 2014.
  11. ^ "Project Vote Smart – The Voter's Self Defense System". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved February 20, 2015.
  12. ^ Bonner, Ryan (January 15, 2013). "Zeldin Releases Statement on Gun Legislation". Patchogue Patch. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
  13. ^ Franchi, Jaime (February 16, 2014). "Common Core Adjustments Do Not Go Far Enough, Blast Opponents". Long Island Press. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
  14. ^ "A2597A-2013 – NY Senate Open Legislation – Enacts the New York state DREAM ACT; repealer". nysenate.gov. Retrieved February 20, 2015.
  15. ^ Ramirez, David (March 31, 2012). "New York Dream Act Proponents Increase Pressure On Governor Cuomo To Provide Budget Support". Huffington Post. Retrieved June 26, 2014.
  16. ^ "Our Campaigns – NY – District 01 Race". ourcampaigns.com. November 4, 2008. Retrieved February 20, 2015.
  17. ^ Brand, Rick (October 6, 2013). "Zeldin to challenge Bishop for House seat". Newsday. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
  18. ^ Gannon, Tim; Pinciaro, Joseph (June 24, 2014). "Zeldin tops Demos, will face Bishop this fall". Riverhead News-Review. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
  19. ^ LaRocco, Paul (November 5, 2014). "Lee Zeldin Defeats Tim Bishop". Newsday. Retrieved November 10, 2014.
  20. ^ "Zeldin defeats Bishop as Suffolk GOP wins big on Election Day". The Suffolk Times. November 4, 2014. Retrieved February 2, 2016.
  21. ^ "Rep. in Congress Election Returns November 4, 2014" (PDF). New York State Board of Elections.
  22. ^ "Exclusive: NRCC Announces 12 Members in Patriot Program". Roll Call: At the Races. Retrieved February 5, 2016.
  23. ^ Hohmann, James; Viebeck, Elise (September 3, 2015). "The Daily 202: Contract with the NRCC — The deal GOPers make to get reelected". The Washington Post. Retrieved February 5, 2016.
  24. ^ Pathé, Simone (July 8, 2016). "Throne-Holst Will Challenge New York's Lee Zeldin". Roll Call. Retrieved July 10, 2016.
  25. ^ "On night of Trump win, Zeldin makes history". Retrieved November 10, 2016.
  26. ^ Smith, Tara. "Perry Gershon to face Congressman Lee Zeldin in midterms". Retrieved 2018-09-11.
  27. ^ "Climate Solutions Caucus". Citizens Climate Lobby. Retrieved August 23, 2017.
  28. ^ Smith, Tara (January 5, 2017). "Citizens lobby for the environment". The Long Island Advance. Retrieved September 6, 2017.
  29. ^ "Members". Republican Mains Street Partnership. Retrieved 4 October 2017.
  30. ^ "Long Island Rep. Lee Zeldin among nine Republicans facing attacks for meeting with extremist conservative group". New York Daily News.
  31. ^ The Lugar Center - McCourt School Bipartisan Index (PDF), The Lugar Center, March 7, 2016, retrieved April 30, 2017
  32. ^ "Zeldin begins with an anti-Common Core amendment". Politico New York. Retrieved February 27, 2015.
  33. ^ "Zeldin Anti-Common Core Amendment Passed". December 3, 2015.
  34. ^ "2015 Scorecard" (PDF). League of Conservation Voters Scorecard. League of Conservation Voters.
  35. ^ "2015 Scorecard" (PDF). League of Conservation Voters Scorecard. League of Conservation Voters.
  36. ^ "Federal 'Fluke Fairness Act' would correct inequitable treatment of L.I. anglers: Schumer, Zeldin". Riverhead Local.
  37. ^ Charles, Schumer, (2015-04-28). "S.1107 - 114th Congress (2015-2016): Fluke Fairness Act of 2015". www.congress.gov. Retrieved 2018-09-22.
  38. ^ "H.R.3070". congress.gov. Retrieved March 3, 2016.
  39. ^ "Bill in Congress could hurt Connecticut fishermen, and fish". WTNH. Retrieved February 27, 2015."On Long Island Sound, Discord Over Push for Fishing Rights". ABC News. Retrieved March 3, 2016.
  40. ^ Lee, Zeldin, (2016-06-08). "Text - H.R.3070 - 114th Congress (2015-2016): EEZ Transit Zone Clarification and Access Act". www.congress.gov. Retrieved 2018-09-22.
  41. ^ Blasl, Katie (September 17, 2015). "Long Island Sound is 'not a landfill', say environmentalists opposed to open water waste dumping plan". Riverhead Local. Retrieved March 3, 2016.
  42. ^ "Rep. Zeldin joins call to halt Sound dumping". News12 LongIsland. September 16, 2015. Retrieved March 3, 2016.
  43. ^ "National Environmental Scorecard". League of Conservation Voters. Retrieved March 9, 2017.
  44. ^ Rep. Zeldin Says U.S. Should Be Willing to Decertify Iran Deal; Bloomberg; April 25, 2018; [1]
  45. ^ Brune, Tom (July 14, 2015). "Republicans denounce Iran deal; Democrats respond cautiously". Newsday. Retrieved June 20, 2016.
  46. ^ "Tough-talking freshman congressman has been skipping Foreign Affairs Committee meetings". New York Post. Retrieved January 31, 2016.
  47. ^ "Rep. Lee Zeldin's hearing absences draw fire from rivals". Newsday. Retrieved January 31, 2016.
  48. ^ Brune, Tom (February 4, 2016). "Rep. Lee Zeldin seeks Iran visa to check on nuke compliance". Newsday. Retrieved February 26, 2016.
  49. ^ Nicholas, Elizabeth (February 25, 2016). "Meeting the Tea Party in Tehran". Huffington Post. Retrieved February 27, 2016.
  50. ^ Vahdat, Amir (June 7, 2016). "Iran says US congressmen can't visit amid nuclear deal row". Associated Press. Retrieved June 16, 2016.
  51. ^ "Emily's List Declares Rep Zeldin On Notice for 2016". Newsday.
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  53. ^ "H.R.6". congress.gov. Retrieved March 2, 2016.
  54. ^ Grossman, Karl (September 20, 2015). "Grossman Column: Time to legislate against Lyme disease". The Suffolk Times. Retrieved March 2, 2016.
  55. ^ "H.R.3134". congress.gov. Retrieved March 2, 2016.
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  59. ^ "How the House voted to pass the GOP health-care bill". Washington Post. Retrieved 2017-05-04.
  60. ^ Staff, C.N.N. "How every member voted on health care bill". CNN. Retrieved 2017-05-04.
  61. ^ Kook, Elana; Lee Zeldin: What Jew Need To Know; New York Jewish Week; November 6, 2014; [2]
  62. ^ Finn, Lisa (April 24, 2016). "Rep. Lee Zeldin on Battle to Preserve Plum Island: 'Losing's Not An Option'". North Fork Patch. Retrieved April 28, 2016.
  63. ^ Irizarry, Lisa (May 16, 2016). "Plum Island protection bill passed by House". Newsday. Retrieved May 17, 2016.
  64. ^ "Congressional Scorecard" (PDF). Human Rights Commission. Human Rights Commission. Retrieved 21 December 2017.
  65. ^ "Supreme Court Ruling Legalizes Gay Marriage; Bridgehampton Ceremony Was At Center Of Case". 27east.com. Retrieved February 27, 2015.
  66. ^ "HR 2802". congress.gov. Retrieved February 27, 2016.
  67. ^ Lee, Steve (June 20, 2015). "HRC: First Amendment Defense Act is 'reckless'". San Diego LGBT Weekly (San Diego California). Retrieved October 25, 2016.
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  69. ^ "H.R. 2802: First Amendment Defense Act". RealClearPolitics.com. Retrieved March 2, 2016.
  70. ^ "New York Scorecard - NORML.org - Working to Reform Marijuana Laws". norml.org. Retrieved 21 December 2017.
  71. ^ Goldmacher, Shane (November 29, 2017). "Paul Ryan Cancels Fund-Raiser for Lee Zeldin Over Tax Bill Vote". New York Times. Retrieved September 5, 2018.
  72. ^ Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin On His Opposition To GOP Tax Bill; NPR; November 3, 2017; [3]
  73. ^ Fox, Michelle; GOP congressman votes 'no' on tax bill, calls it a 'geographic redistribution of wealth'; CNBC; December 20, 2017; [4]
  74. ^ Almukhtar, Sarah (19 December 2017). "How Each House Member Voted on the Tax Bill". The New York Times. Retrieved 21 December 2017.
  75. ^ "GOP congressman votes 'no' on tax bill, calls it a 'geographic redistribution of wealth'". Yahoo! Finance. Retrieved 21 December 2017.
  76. ^ Brune, Tom (May 4, 2016). "Reps. Peter King, Lee Zeldin endorse Donald Trump for president". Newsday. Retrieved August 15, 2016.
  77. ^ Clancy, Ambrose (March 3, 2016). "Zeldin will support whoever GOP nominates". Suffolk Times. Retrieved August 15, 2016.
  78. ^ Brune, Tom (August 2, 2016). "Peter King, Lee Zeldin fault Donald Trump for dispute with Khans". Newsday. Retrieved August 16, 2016.
  79. ^ "With Comey out, Schumer urges special prosecutor". Newsday. Retrieved 2017-05-10.
  80. ^ Hooper, Molly K. (2018-05-23). "WATCH: NY Republican wants McCabe prosecuted". TheHill. Retrieved 2018-05-23.
  81. ^ a b c Beavers, Olivia (2018-05-22). "House conservatives introduce resolution calling for second special counsel". TheHill. Retrieved 2018-05-23.
  82. ^ CNN, Jeremy Herb and Daniella Diaz,. "Republicans renew push for second special counsel". CNN. Retrieved 2018-05-23.
  83. ^ "Rice, Zeldin file first bills aimed at aiding vets". Newsday. Retrieved February 5, 2016.
  84. ^ Evans, Martin (February 14, 2016). "Lee Zeldin proposes $25M veterans counseling program". Newsday. Retrieved February 26, 2016.
  85. ^ Ain, Stewart (November 12, 2014). "L.I.'s Zeldin Stepping Into GOP Minefield". The New York Jewish Week. Retrieved July 5, 2018.
  86. ^ Gonzales, Nathan (January 24, 2014). "Washington Is a Matter of Life and Death to Congressional Candidate". Roll Call. Retrieved February 26, 2016.

External links[edit]

New York State Senate
Preceded by
Brian X. Foley
New York State Senate, 3rd District
Succeeded by
Thomas Croci
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Tim Bishop
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 1st congressional district

January 3, 2015 – present
Current U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
David Young
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Dan Donovan
R-New York