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Mar 3, 2010 12:20 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Local politicians consider congressional campaign

Mar 3, 2010 12:20 PM

Suffolk County Legislator Jay Schneiderman of Montauk might throw his hat into the ring for the 1st Congressional District seat occupied by U.S. Representative Tim Bishop of Southampton, and he’s not the only potential East End challenger.

Mr. Schneiderman, an Independent who served as East Hampton Town supervisor before joining the County Legislature six years ago, said this week that he is planning to tap a handful of people to form an exploratory committee. He is one of nine, and possibly 10, potential challengers lining up to take on Mr. Bishop, the Democratic incumbent. The 10th candidate might be Southampton Town Councilman Chris Nuzzi, who said this week that he too might run.

Mr. Bishop is the presumptive Democratic candidate for the seat. He has publicly confirmed his intent to run again, and no other Democrat has announced a bid to try to unseat him. Richard Schaffer, the chair of the Suffolk County Democratic Committee, did not return phone calls before deadline.

But eight Republicans are now contending for the GOP nomination, according to John Jay LaValle, the chairman of the Suffolk County Republican Committee. They are Richard Blumenthal, Christopher Cox, George Demos, Jim Staudenraus, Fred Meyer, Randy Altschuler, Gary Berntsen and New York State Assemblyman Mike Fitzpatrick.

The latest name in the mix is Mr. Nuzzi’s. The Republican said Tuesday that he too is thinking about taking a run at Mr. Bishop’s seat and that he’s been “approached by people in the community to think about getting into the race.”

Mr. LaValle said that Mr. Nuzzi has not yet reached out to him about screening before the county committee, but he said that the town councilman is “certainly an impressive guy and would be a tremendous candidate.”

Mr. Nuzzi said that he will be finalizing his decision within the next few weeks.

“Having served on a local level has given me the opportunity to not only bring ideas into Town Hall on behalf of a larger community, but also come to meet and speak to key people of various backgrounds all throughout this area who have shared their concerns and some of their reasons for being disillusioned with the greater system of government,” Mr. Nuzzi said. “I can’t help but think that I could contribute positively on the policy and also bring in a realistic down-to-earth approach to that office.”

The Suffolk County Republican Party will select a candidate at some point after March 31, a date by which all of the hopefuls must file financial campaign papers with the Federal Election Commission, Mr. LaValle said. It is possible to try to wager a run in the race after that, Mr. LaValle said.

Mr. Schneiderman, speculating on the Republican race, said that he believes there will be a primary for the Republican line. He said that Mr. Altschuler, a businessman from Saint James, is a front-runner among the eight hopefuls, as is Chris Cox, who is the son of New York State Republican Party Chairman Ed Cox and the grandson of Richard Nixon.

Mr. Schneiderman said that he will appeal to voters in the 1st Congressional District—which spans from his hometown of Montauk to as far west as Stony Brook—because he grew up in Hauppauge.

“People think I’m just an East End guy, but I’m familiar with western Suffolk, too,” Mr. Schneiderman said, adding that many of the Republican hopefuls are not familiar with the district.

Fund-raising would be a major effort for Mr. Schneiderman. “To run the campaign—a grassroots campaign with a lot of internet and less expensive means of getting the message out—I would still need as much as $1 million,” he said. “The major party candidates get a tremendous amount of support from national parties. I wouldn’t have that. I’d have to do it all on my own.”

Mr. Schneiderman said that he will only throw his hat in the ring for a congressional seat—a goal he said he has had since he was a young man—if he feels he could win. He emphasized that he does not want to be a “spoiler” as an Independent in the election, throwing the election toward either the Republicans or Democrats.

“I floated my name because I believe there’s a strong sentiment out there for independent leaders,” Mr. Schneiderman said. “The Republican Party is picking up a tremendous amount of support, but it’s an Independence swing. 
People are tired of business as usual in Washington and are looking for individuals.”

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What a great idea! Nuzzi should resign as Council member to devote all his energies to his Congressional race. Jim Malone could then resign as deputy Suffolk County clerk, (as he pledged to do when running for Town Council), to pick up the extra work on the Council caused by Nuzzi's absence.

Go, Chris!
By highhatsize (3320), East Quogue on Mar 3, 10 3:18 PM
1 member liked this comment
Are you serious? Jim Malone is still holding on to that job? I'm shocked! Shocked!
By Turkey Bridge (1762), Quiogue on Mar 3, 10 4:14 PM
1 member liked this comment
Excellent idea! We need two more spineless buffoons in Washington!
By rabblerouser (45), Hampton Bays on Mar 3, 10 4:26 PM
4 members liked this comment
You aren't serious is taking highat at his word, are you TB?
By Terry (380), Southampton on Mar 3, 10 6:06 PM
What do you mean, Terry? Did Jim Malone leave his full-time, high-level, demanding County job or didn't he? He said during the campaign that he would, I think (could be wrong), but whether he promised to or not, it always seemed to me that he couldn't possibly do right by both Suffolk County and Southampton Town.
You seem to be suggesting that highhatsize is wrong and Mr. Malone did leave the County position. What's the story?
By fidelis (199), westhampton beach on Mar 3, 10 8:46 PM
1 member liked this comment
You have his number, call and ask him.
By Terry (380), Southampton on Mar 6, 10 4:34 PM
What a splendid idea! I second that!!!!!!
By EQme (112), East Quogue on Mar 3, 10 3:26 PM
If someone can bring a Hooters to the East End, they've got my vote!
By itsamazing (207), Southampton on Mar 3, 10 3:36 PM
4 members liked this comment
Jay Schneiderman from Republican, to Democrat, to Independent - we have enough opportunistic congresspeople in Washington willing to trade their beliefs for a quick glide on the prevailing political winds. He is the wrong candidate for any party - just putting an "I" after your name does not make you an outsider.
By dagdavid (646), southampton on Mar 3, 10 4:26 PM
1 member liked this comment
Mr. Nuzzi, please don't "think" by letting this go to your head. Accomplish something first as a Town Board member before you "think" about representing us in DC .
By nellie (451), sag harbor on Mar 3, 10 7:15 PM
2 members liked this comment
Mr. Nuzzi, were the "people in the community" who approached you wearing white jackets and gloves?
By yearrounder (208), Southampton on Mar 3, 10 7:36 PM
4 members liked this comment
nobody can be as bad as Bishop. He votes along party lines with total disregard for his contituents. He has voted for cap and tax, porkulus and health care. He last sent out a letter stating he would not vote for the senate health bill. I cant wait to see him flip on that one once Pelosi gets a hold of him. This bill will cost New Yorkers 1.5 billion that we dont have. Thanks for looking out for us
By razza5350 (1860), East Hampton on Mar 3, 10 7:51 PM
1 member liked this comment
He was elected by stating his support for the very things he's voted for. You need to change "constituents" to "teabaggers" - "He votes along party lines with total disregard for teabaggers"
By yearrounder (208), Southampton on Mar 4, 10 12:31 PM
Do you ever get tired of posting the same "teabagger" nonsense? From time to time people are going to disagree with you. That doesn't make them a member of a Tea party or any other party. It makes them an American with a point of view. Why do you have so much trouble with that concept? Are you suffering from Pelosism?
By double standard (1506), quogue on Mar 6, 10 11:08 AM
ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha AH HA
By kpjc (157), east quogue on Mar 3, 10 9:54 PM
1 member liked this comment
This could be a good thing. Mr. Nuzzi can/should resign from the Town Board then run for something else. When he isn't elected, we'll be free!!
By bb (743), Hampton Bays on Mar 4, 10 8:52 AM
2 members liked this comment
I dislike Tim Bishop!
By Luxor23 (6), Montauk on Mar 4, 10 11:47 AM
Who would you give the GOP nomination to? Sound off in the 27east forums: http://www.27east.com/forum/messages.cfm?threadid=2A13925E-E081-4CAC-928F6E15B2594B09
By BOReilly (131), 27east Web Editor on Mar 4, 10 11:50 AM
I think that you should remove this post immediately because it crosses the line of reportage and becomes part of the story. Your job is not to MAKE news nor even to encourage people to make it. This is totally inappropriate and unethical to good critical, open, honest reporting.
By foodie (74), Remsenburg on Mar 4, 10 5:24 PM
Tea Partyers for Palin-Bishop!
By danrudan (39), Southampton on Mar 4, 10 12:56 PM
I wish Chris Nuzzi well. He will do great in whatever he pursues.
By james L. Fogarty (5), remsenburg on Mar 4, 10 6:17 PM
1 member liked this comment
Tell me why Nuzzi is qualified to be a Congressman.
By yearrounder (208), Southampton on Mar 5, 10 2:16 PM
1 member liked this comment
Nuzzi is not qualified to be a Congressman, there is some question if he is qualified to be a mumbling council person. .
By fix-it-now (216), sag harbor on Mar 5, 10 5:48 PM
2 members liked this comment
Tell me why was Tim Bishop qualified to be a congressman?
By reg rep (408), Southampton on Mar 5, 10 5:37 PM
2 members liked this comment
Tim Bishop served as a provost at Southampton college. This more than qualifies his him to make decesions on foreign policy, health care reform, the economy and global warming
By razza5350 (1860), East Hampton on Mar 6, 10 12:40 PM
Run Jay Run - You have this registered Democrats vote.
By bird (635), Southampton on Mar 6, 10 3:55 PM
The founding fathers thought that the only qualification needed was ones desire to serve the country. They wanted a govt of the people by the people for the people. I think they would be veryunhappy with the career politicos of today.
By montaukman (98), easthampton on Mar 6, 10 4:28 PM
3 members liked this comment
No one is "qualified" to be a congressman (or woman!). All I would ask for is someone to he honest, open and have the best interests of the community at heart and stick to it.
Unfortunately, I dont think Bishop, Nuzzi or (god forbid) schneiderman is that person, although Nuzzi seems to be the best of the bunch.
Where are the people who really care?
Does it always have to be some half-assed politician?
By ehboardwatcher2010 (21), sag harbor on Mar 7, 10 9:46 AM
Well, of course, Nuzzi, Schneiderman and Fitzpatrick are the not even serious wannabes that just hope to be thought of as material "for higher office". Nixon's grandson, Chris Cox, has no idea about life on Long Island except his tony summers in silver-spoon, privileged Westhampton and the rest of the GOP challengers will need to spend huge sums to convince locals they got what it takes to earn a vote.

Yes, there's political "blood in the water" but don't count Bishop out. He's managed ...more
By JimmyKBond (151), Hampton Bays on Mar 7, 10 6:39 PM
Razza: This is part of a job description for a college provost this hardly qualifies anyone with this experience to run to congressman.
BTW as far as I'm concerned Bishop has not made any decisions, he just votes with Obama or with party lines. He's got to go in November
Important external relationships: Students and their families, organisations and other individuals who are users or potential users of College. Emergency services. Local residents.
Main purpose of job: To have ultimate ...more
By reg rep (408), Southampton on Mar 7, 10 6:43 PM
How about Bill McGintee for congress?
By Bayman1 (294), Sag Harbor on Mar 8, 10 8:50 PM
End of discussion:

The Constitution specifically lists the qualifications necessary to become a member of the House or Senate. A representative must be at least 25 years old, have been a U.S. citizen for seven years, and be a resident of the state (although not necessarily the district) from which he or she is chosen (Article 1, Section 2). A senator must be at least 30 years old, have been a citizen for nine years, and be a resident of his or her state (Article 1, Section 3).

Any ...more
By Terry (380), Southampton on Mar 9, 10 5:04 PM
Nuzzi for Congress..... LOL, LMFAO
By ICE (1207), Southhampton on Mar 10, 10 2:41 AM
Nuzzi and Schneiderman are good people who have lived in the district their entire lives. Both are smart and have accomplishments. Both have far more experience than Bishop did when he got elected. Name one real accomplishment Bishop can call his own?
By hohum123 (91), springs on Mar 10, 10 10:07 PM
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