Perry Gershon announced Saturday that he will seek the Democratic Party nomination to run for Congress in 2020, setting up a rematch between the East Hampton resident and Republican Congressman Lee Zeldin, who defeated Mr. Gershon in November of 2018 to earn his third term in the House of Representatives.
Mr. Gershon, a retired real estate investor, made the announcement in Brookhaven on Saturday afternoon. Following the rally, which brought 200 supporters to Painter’s Restaurant, Mr. Gershon announced via email plans for an ambitious fundraising campaign with the hopes of raising $500,000 this summer toward the 2020 campaign.
Mr. Zeldin’s campaign began actively fundraising for 2020 in late January.
“Our nation has too many pressing issues for us to stand for any more of the Lee Zeldin and Donald Trump agenda,” Mr. Gershon wrote in an email to supporters following the rally. “Prosperity for all families. Climate change. The gun violence epidemic. These are just a few of the issues that we must address before it’s too late.”
Mr. Zeldin, an Army veteran and attorney who hails from Shirley, bested Mr. Gershon last November, ultimately taking 139,027 votes to Mr. Gershon’s 127,991. While Mr. Zeldin was returned to the House, he returned as a member of the minority party, with Democrats taking back the House in 2018 after eight years in the minority.
On the South Fork, a majority of voters in all 19 election districts in East Hampton Town supported Mr. Gershon by a margin of 65 to 35 percent, prior to the counting of absentee ballots. In Southampton Town, Mr. Gershon carried 25 of 42 election districts. Mr. Gershon took 74 percent of the vote in the nine election districts in and around Sag Harbor. Areas including Northwest Woods in East Hampton and Sagaponack also heavily supported the political newcomer over the incumbent Congressman in the polls. However, Mr. Zeldin was successful in drawing out support in western Suffolk, including the towns of Brookhaven and Smithtown, and on the North Fork in Southold, to edge out a victory over Mr. Gershon and send him back to Washington D.C.