|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 1st district
January 3, 2015
|Preceded by||Tim Bishop|
|Member of the New York Senate
from the 3rd district
|Preceded by||Brian X. Foley|
|Succeeded by||Thomas Croci|
January 30, 1980 |
East Meadow, New York
|Residence||Shirley, New York|
|Alma mater||SUNY Albany (BA)
Albany Law School (JD)
|Service/branch||United States Army|
|Years of service||2003–present|
Lee Zeldin (born January 30, 1980) is an American lawyer and politician. A Republican, he has represented New York's 1st congressional district in the United States House of Representatives since 2015. New York's 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
Zeldin was raised in Shirley, Suffolk County, New York and graduated from William Floyd High School in 1998. He received a B.A. (cum laude) in political science from the State University of New York at Albany in 2001 and earned his Juris Doctor from Albany Law School in May 2003.
Upon graduation from law school, he received an Army ROTC commission as a Second Lieutenant, assigned to the Military Intelligence Corps of the United States Army. He became a member of the New York State Bar in January 2004 at the age of 23. In 2006, he was deployed to Iraq with an infantry battalion of paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division. In 2007, he transitioned from active duty to the Army Reserve where he currently serves with the rank of Major. In 2008, Zeldin started a law practice in Smithtown, New York.
New York Senate
In 2010, Zeldin ran in the New York Senate's 3rd district, challenging Democratic incumbent Brian X. Foley. Zeldin defeated Foley 58%–42%. In 2012, he won re-election to a second term, defeating Democrat Francis Genco, 56%–44%.
In January 2011, Zeldin co-sponsored legislation that enacted a 2% property tax cap.
In June 2011, Zeldin voted against the Marriage Equality Act, which the Senate passed 33–29. 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."
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. In a statement released to the press after the vote, Zeldin said he would have voted against the measure.
On October 6, 2013, Zeldin announced he would seek the Republican nomination to again run against incumbent Democratic Congressman Tim Bishop. Zeldin defeated George Demos in the Republican Party primary and ran unopposed for the Conservative Party nomination in the primary on June 24, 2014. Zeldin had the backing of former Congressman and U.S. House Majority leader Eric Cantor, former Congressman Allen West, U.S. Senator John McCain, and former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum. Zeldin was endorsed by the United States Chamber of Commerce, the National Federation of Independent Business, the Suffolk County Republican Committee, and Suffolk County Conservative Party Chairman Ed Walsh.
On June 24, 2014, Zeldin defeated George Demos, 62% to 37% to secure the Republican Party nomination. On November 4, 2014, Zeldin defeated Bishop, 54% to 45%, to represent New York's 1st congressional district in the United States Congress.
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.
Zeldin ran for re-election in 2016. He faced no opposition in the Republican primary, which was held on June 28, 2016. He was challenged in the November 8, 2016, general election by Anna Throne-Holst, winner of the Democratic primary. Preliminary results from the Suffolk County Board of Elections showed Zeldin securing nearly 59% of the vote to retain his seat.
- Veterans affairs
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 in New York State.
- Environmental issues
In April 2015, Zeldin along with Democratic U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer, introduced the Fluke Fairness Act. The bill would reform 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.
On July 15, 2015, Zeldin introduced the Exclusive Economic Zone Clarification Act. The bill proposes 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 have said the proposed bill could put them out of business.
Also in September 2015, Zeldin, along with Adrienne Esposito, executive director of Citizens Campaign for the Environment, condemned the dumping of dredged materials, stating: “We can't just assume that dumping these waste spoils in the Long Island Sound is environmentally benign. We support dredging initiatives all across the First Congressional District. What we do with that waste spoil is also just as critically important.”
In that same month, Zeldin, along with U.S. Senators Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), announced that $2.5 million was put forth by the Federal Aviation Administration for a runway rehabilitation project at Gabreski Airport.[relevant? ]
- Social issues
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.
On September 18, 2015, Zeldin voted for the Defund Planned Parenthood Act of 2015, a bill that would defund Planned Parenthood for one year unless the organization agrees to not provide abortion services.
- Same-sex marriage
In June 2015, after the United States Supreme Court ruled in Obergefell v. Hodges that state-level bans on same-sex marriage are unconstitutional. Zeldin would not comment about his view of same-sex marriage, however he indicated that he believed the issue should have been decided at the state level. A month later, Zeldin signed on as a co-sponsor of the First Amendment Defense Act, a bill whose supporters say is designed to protect Americans who use their religious beliefs to deny services to same sex couples or unmarried pregnant women. Critics of the measure say it will enable people to violate the legal rights of same-sex couples and their children by discriminating against them.
According to the legislation, the federal government is not allowed to “take any discriminatory action against a person, wholly or partially on the basis that such person believes or acts in accordance with a religious belief or moral conviction that marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman, or that sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage.”
In July 2015, Zeldin attached an amendment to the Student Success Act. This amendment would allow for states to opt-out of the Common Core or other standards without penalty. The amendment was passed and signed into law thereafter.
- Health policy
As of September 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 and the 21st Century Cures Act.
- Foreign affairs
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. On June 7, 2016, Iran called the request a "publicity stunt" and said it would deny the visas.
- Committee on Foreign Affairs
- Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
- Committee on Veterans' Affairs
Zeldin endorsed Donald Trump as the Republican presidential nominee after Trump effectively clinched the nomination on May 3, 2016. Zeldin had previously indicated that he would support the eventual Republican nominee.
Zeldin faulted Trump for his attack on 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.
Zeldin is a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion, and the Jewish War Veterans. He is married to Diana Zeldin, and they have twin daughters, Mikayla and Arianna. They live in Shirley, New York.
- "Lee Zeldin". house.gov. Retrieved February 1, 2016.
- "New York State Legislature Election 2010". New York Times. Retrieved April 28, 2016.
- "Our Campaigns – NY State Senate 03 Race". ourcampaigns.com. November 6, 2012. Retrieved February 20, 2015.
- Civiletti, Denise (November 3, 2014). "Hotly contested — and very expensive — congressional race draws to a close". Riverhead Local. Retrieved June 20, 2016.
- "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.
- Lavers, Michael (July 19, 2011). "Fire Islanders Celebrate Passage of Marriage Equality Bill". Fire Island News. Retrieved June 25, 2014.
- Hamilton, Colby (December 12, 2011). "NY Governor Cuomo Signs MTA Tax Reduction Into Law". WNYC. Retrieved June 20, 2016.
- "Long Island Officials Lobby To Eliminate MTA Payroll Tax". CBS New York. February 3, 2012. Retrieved June 20, 2016.
- Fertoli, Annmarie (April 8, 2012). "4 New York Counties Set to Receive Funding for Vets Peer Pilot Program". WNYC News. Retrieved April 28, 2016.
- LaRocco, Paul (October 14, 2013). "Suffolk: Bellone credits Zeldin on state PTSD program". Newsday. Retrieved June 26, 2014.
- "Project Vote Smart – The Voter's Self Defense System". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved February 20, 2015.
- Bonner, Ryan (January 15, 2013). "Zeldin Releases Statement on Gun Legislation". Patchogue Patch. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
- Franchi, Jaime (February 16, 2014). "Common Core Adjustments Do Not Go Far Enough, Blast Opponents". Long Island Press. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
- "A2597A-2013 – NY Senate Open Legislation – Enacts the New York state DREAM ACT; repealer". nysenate.gov. Retrieved February 20, 2015.
- 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.
- "Our Campaigns – NY – District 01 Race". ourcampaigns.com. November 4, 2008. Retrieved February 20, 2015.
- Brand, Rick (October 6, 2013). "Zeldin to challenge Bishop for House seat". Newsday. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
- Gannon, Tim; Pinciaro, Joseph (June 24, 2014). "Zeldin tops Demos, will face Bishop this fall". Riverhead News-Review. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
- Brune, Tom (June 11, 2014). "Rep. Eric Cantor to appear at fundraiser for Lee Zeldin in Quogue". Newsday. Retrieved 27 September 2016.
- Friedman, Dan (September 2, 2014). "Long Island Republican Questioned Over Event with Tea Party Favorite West". New York Daily News. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
- Livingston, Abby (October 30, 2013). "McCain Takes Sides in House GOP Primary in New York". Roll Call. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
- "Eric Cantor to attend fundraiser for Lee Zeldin's run for Congress". Newsday. June 8, 2014. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
- "Zeldin Nets Chamber Of Commerce Endorsement". NY State of Politics. Retrieved June 22, 2014.
- "NFIB/NY Backs Zeldin in Hot 1st District". National Federation of Independent Business. Retrieved June 22, 2014.
- Murphy, Rick (February 19, 2014). "Suffolk GOP Endorses Lee Zeldin". The Independent. Retrieved June 22, 2014.
- "Senator Lee Zeldin Endorsed by Suffolk County Conservative Party Chairman". zeldinforcongress.com. Archived from the original on September 5, 2014.
- "Edward Walsh, Conservative Party chief, to be charged with fraud, sources say". Newsday. Retrieved February 20, 2015.
- "Zeldin Gets Suffolk County Nod". NY State of Politics. Retrieved June 22, 2014.
- "Zeldin Defeats Demos For Nomination". Retrieved November 9, 2016.
- "Zeldin defeats Bishop as Suffolk GOP wins big on Election Day". The Suffolk Times. November 4, 2014. Retrieved February 2, 2016.
- LaRocco, Paul (November 5, 2014). "Lee Zeldin Defeats Tim Bishop". Newsday. Retrieved November 10, 2014.
- "Exclusive: NRCC Announces 12 Members in Patriot Program". Roll Call: At the Races. Retrieved February 5, 2016.
- 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.
- Pathé, Simone (July 8, 2016). "Throne-Holst Will Challenge New York's Lee Zeldin". Roll Call. Retrieved July 10, 2016.
- "On night of Trump win, Zeldin makes history". Retrieved November 10, 2016.
- "Rice, Zeldin file first bills aimed at aiding vets". Newsday. Retrieved February 5, 2016.
- Evans, Martin (February 14, 2016). "Lee Zeldin proposes $25M veterans counseling program". Newsday. Retrieved February 26, 2016.
- "Federal 'Fluke Fairness Act' would correct inequitable treatment of L.I. anglers: Schumer, Zeldin". Riverhead Local.
- "H.R.3070". congress.gov. Retrieved March 3, 2016.
- "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.
- 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.
- "Rep. Zeldin joins call to halt Sound dumping". News12 LongIsland. September 16, 2015. Retrieved March 3, 2016.
- James, Will (September 21, 2015). "Gabreski runway in Westhampton Beach to get fixed with $2.5 million FAA grant". Newsday. Retrieved March 3, 2016.
- 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.
- Irizarry, Lisa (May 16, 2016). "Plum Island protection bill passed by House". Newsday. Retrieved May 17, 2016.
- "Emily's List Declares Rep Zeldin On Notice for 2016". Newsday.
- "H.R.3134". congress.gov. Retrieved March 2, 2016.
- Harding, Robert (September 19, 2015). "HOW THEY VOTED: House passes bill to defund Planned Parenthood; Katko, Hanna split on vote". The Citizen (Auburn New York). Retrieved March 2, 2016.
- Merrill, Kitty (September 23, 2015). "Throne-Holst On The Offensive". The Independent. Retrieved March 2, 2016.
- "Supreme Court Ruling Legalizes Gay Marriage; Bridgehampton Ceremony Was At Center Of Case". 27east.com. Retrieved February 27, 2015.
- "HR 2802". congress.gov. Retrieved February 27, 2016.
- Lee, Steve (June 20, 2015). "HRC: First Amendment Defense Act is 'reckless'". San Diego LGBT Weekly (San Diego California). Retrieved October 25, 2016.
- "First Amendment Defense Act". huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved October 25, 2016.
- "H.R. 2802: First Amendment Defense Act". RealClearPolitics.com. Retrieved March 2, 2016.
- "Zeldin begins with an anti-Common Core amendment". Politico New York. Retrieved February 27, 2015.
- "Zeldin Anti-Common Core Amendment Passed". December 3, 2015.
- "H.R.789". congress.gov. Retrieved March 2, 2016.
- "H.R.6". congress.gov. Retrieved March 2, 2016.
- Grossman, Karl (September 20, 2015). "Grossman Column: Time to legislate against Lyme disease". The Suffolk Times. Retrieved March 2, 2016.
- "Tough-talking freshman congressman has been skipping Foreign Affairs Committee meetings". New York Post. Retrieved January 31, 2016.
- "Rep. Lee Zeldin's hearing absences draw fire from rivals". Newsday. Retrieved January 31, 2016.
- Brune, Tom (July 14, 2015). "Republicans denounce Iran deal; Democrats respond cautiously". Newsday. Retrieved June 20, 2016.
- Brune, Tom (February 4, 2016). "Rep. Lee Zeldin seeks Iran visa to check on nuke compliance". Newsday. Retrieved 26 February 2016.
- Nicholas, Elizabeth (February 25, 2016). "Meeting the Tea Party in Tehran". Huffington Post. Retrieved February 27, 2016.
- Vahdat, Amir (June 7, 2016). "Iran says US congressmen can't visit amid nuclear deal row". Associated Press. Retrieved June 16, 2016.
- Brune, Tom (May 4, 2016). "Reps. Peter King, Lee Zeldin endorse Donald Trump for president". Newsday. Retrieved August 15, 2016.
- Clancy, Ambrose (March 3, 2016). "Zeldin will support whoever GOP nominates". Suffolk Times. Retrieved August 15, 2016.
- Brune, Tom (August 2, 2016). "Peter King, Lee Zeldin fault Donald Trump for dispute with Khans". Newsday. Retrieved August 16, 2016.
- Gonzales, Nathan (January 24, 2014). "Washington Is a Matter of Life and Death to Congressional Candidate". Roll Call. Retrieved February 26, 2016.
- Congressman Lee Zeldin official U.S. House site
- Lee Zeldin for Congress
- Biography at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- Profile at Project Vote Smart
- Financial information (federal office) at the Federal Election Commission
- Legislation sponsored at The Library of Congress
- Appearances on C-SPAN
|New York State Senate|
Brian X. Foley
|New York State Senate, 3rd District
|United States House of Representatives|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 1st congressional district
January 3, 2015 – present
|United States order of precedence (ceremonial)|
|United States Representatives by seniority