Democratic Candidates To Face Off In League-Sponsored Debates

Congressional candidates Perry Gershon, left, and Lee Zeldin listen to a question during the debate hosted by the League of Women Voters of the Hamptons at Hampton Bays High School on Monday, October 29. Michael Heller photo

The League of Women Voters of the Hamptons, Shelter Island & North Fork will hold a pair of Democratic primary debates via Zoom and SEA-TV in Southampton next month.

On Monday, June 1, at 7 p.m., the four Democrats who are challenging incumbent

Republican Lee Zeldin for his 1st District congressional seat, will connect via Zoom for a debate that will be posted the next day on the SEA-TV YouTube channel. Perry Gershon, who lost to Mr. Zeldin in a close race in 2018, will be joined by Suffolk County Legislator Bridget Fleming, Nancy Goroff, the chairwoman of the chemistry department at Stony Brook University, and Gregory Fischer of Calverton.

A week later, on June 8, the five Democratic candidates vying for the 1st District New York State Senate seat, which is expected to be in play with the retirement of long-time Republican legislator, Kenneth P. LaValle, will meet via Zoom for their own 7 p.m. debate. It also will be posted the following day on the SEA-TV YouTube channel.

The Democrats who have thrown their hats into the ring are Southampton Town Councilman Tommy John Schiavoni; Laura Ahearn, a Port Jefferson attorney and executive director of the Crime Victims Center; Brookhaven Councilwoman Valerie Cartright; Nora Higgins of Ridge, the regional coordinator of the Public Employees Federation, and Skyler Johnson of Mt. Sinai, a political science student at Suffolk Community College.

The Democratic primary is June 23.

Residents who would like to submit a question are asked to do so by sending an email to the group’s Voter Services Committee chairwoman Barbara McClancy at by May 29.