Congressional primary coming up

The congressional primary for NYD 1 & 2 will occur on Aug. 23 with the general election on Nov. 8.


Democratic candidate

Bridget Fleming

A former prosecutor and Southampton Town councilwoman, Suffolk County Legis. Bridget Fleming said she has spent her career standing up for Long Island families. As an elected official, Fleming has championed tax relief, environmental protection, and was a steady presence for residents throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath.
Prior to serving on the Southampton Town Board, Fleming worked for almost a decade as an assistant district attorney in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. As a member of the Sex Crimes Prosecution Unit, she successfully fought for justice for victims of sexual assault. She also served as chief of a unit devoted to attacking fraud in public programs.
Fleming has called Long Island home for more than two decades. The daughter of a labor union leader and a writer, and the granddaughter of Irish immigrants, Fleming and her seven siblings were raised to value hard work and give back to the community. After her son was born, these values motivated her to participate and lead in community politics.
She is also a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Hunter College’s Special Honor Curriculum and received her J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law, where she received the prestigious Kramer Award for service to the community. Fleming lives in Noyack with her husband, Bob, their son, Jai, and their beloved springer spaniel, Dune.

“I am running for Congress to ensure that every child, no matter their race, religion, or gender, has the opportunity to succeed and live out the American dream. As an established local legislator, I have delivered real results for Long Island families time and again. I will use this experience and knowledge to bring federal dollars back home to improve the quality of life for my community and put money back in the pockets of working families,” said Fleming.

Republican candidates

Anthony Figliola

Anthony Figliola is running for election to the U.S. House to represent New York’s 1st Congressional District.

Figliola was born and raised in the first district. Figliola has spent the last 20 years working within both the public and private sector.  He is currently executive vice president of a government relations and economic development business.  Earlier in his career, he served as a deputy supervisor of the Town of Brookhaven, where he worked with members of both parties to bring business and jobs to our community.

Figliola lives in East Setauket with his wife, Christine, of 11 years, a registered nurse at a local hospital. They have three children.

Why they are running

“I love this adistrict. Being a lifelong resident, I chose to raise my family here in East Setauket, because I want them to live in a community where their quality of life is assured.

Our district is facing a crisis. Long Island is getting more and more costly and pricing people out. Pricing families out.

Too many families are just one home repair, car repair or an illness away from going into debt. We need to make a change before it’s too late.

As your congressman, I will advance policies that focus on ‘America First’ values while working to build a better future for families, and most importantly our children.

My job will be to never stop fighting for you!”

Figliola did not respond to requests for comment, so his answers have been taken from his website.


Michelle Bond

Michelle Bond is a lifelong Republican who was born and raised in Suffolk County. She graduated from Miller Place High School and attended classes at SUNY Stony Brook. Her first job was at a Burger King in Rocky Point.

After graduating law school first in her class, Bond spent her career getting things done in the business world and drafting economy-first policy. Now she would like to take that skill set to Washington by representing her hometown as your congresswoman. Having risen to the challenges of an ever-changing finance industry over her nearly two decades, she knows how the halls of power operate, and she will bring this expertise and business acumen to representing Suffolk County.

Now that NY-01’s Rep. Lee Zeldin is running for Governor and we have a newly designed district, Bond is hitting the campaign trail to make sure the needs of the First District are being represented with qualified and responsible conservative leadership in Congress.

If elected, Bond will work to reduce taxes and bureaucracy within the government, knowing that overtaxing businesses and the residents of Long Island reduces economic growth and hurts families. She will work to ensure our community is safe and secure—from economic threats, crime, terrorism, and illegal immigration. As Long Islanders struggle with prices at the pump, high taxes, cost of living and inflation, we need to send someone to Washington who knows and understands how to get our economy moving again. The insiders have failed us.

“I haven’t run for office before. I spent almost my entire career in the business world. To me, this is a feature, not a bug: I look around Washington and see a bunch of career politicians looking for their next gig, while the country they’re supposed to be running goes off the rails.

When the most powerful people in the world—the ones in charge of looking out for our economy—say inflation is “transitory” right before it spikes to historic highs, the government is not working. When families don’t feel safe walking in their neighborhoods at night or sending their kids to the local park, with our police under attack, the government is not working.

I finalized my decision to get into this race when I saw that a career politician was running to represent our community. He’s a four-time candidate and three-time loser who’s been on the taxpayer dime since 2009, and who has never even lived in our district. We don’t need more opportunistic, backslapping career politicians wiggling their way around Washington to climb the ranks. We already have one of them in the White House right now.

We need to try something different. I’m a conservative businesswoman who understands how the economy works. If we replace enough of the career politicians with people like me, people with experience outside of politics who understand the economy and also have conservative values, we can make a lot of progress.”


Nick LaLota

Nicholas J. LaLota is running for election to the U.S. House to represent New York’s 1st Congressional District.

While a senior in high school, LaLota applied to one of the spots at the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis. Selected for academic record and leadership, LaLota attended and earned his degree from Annapolis. LaLota entered the Navy and attained the rank of lieutenant.  Serving our nation in uniform, LaLota was sent overseas on three separate occasions, deploying to 20 countries. 

As a surface warfare officer, LaLota served as assistant operations officer on the USS Curts and as a tactical action officer on USS Carl Vinson, a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier.  For his service he was awarded a Joint Service Commendation Medal in support of the Global War on Terrorism.

In 2013, LaLota was appointed to the Amityville Board of Trustees and successfully ran for election in 2014 and re-election in 2015.

Since 2008, LaLota has served in different leadership roles in local government here on Long Island and currently serves as the chief of staff to the Suffolk County Legislature.   

Prior to being the County Legislature’s chief of staff, LaLota served as commissioner of the Suffolk County Board of Elections. When appointed, LaLota became the youngest person to hold the post in three decades.

A husband and father to three daughters, LaLota and his wife, Kaylie, his high school sweetheart, are raising their children in Amityville.  LaLota is a cum laude graduate from Hofstra University’s Zarb School of Business with a master’s degree in business administration (MBA).  In addition, LaLota holds a Juris Doctor from Hofstra University’s Maurice A. Dean School of Law.

“I continued to think about how I have always accepted the challenge to serve our country. Service to our great nation drove me to get to Annapolis, graduate, earn a commission and then complete three overseas deployments as a Naval Officer.  More recently, service to our nation has also led me to work in government, whereas as Elections Commissioner I actively worked to make it easier to vote and harder to cheat.”

“The issues Congress faces today require strong leaders. Lee Zeldin’s successor must respect Americans’ freedoms, understand the impact of national security decisions, and have the courage to slash federal spending that is causing inflation—the hidden tax.”

District 2 Candidates:

Democratic candidates

Jackie Gordon

Jackie Gordon is a veteran, an educator, a public servant, and a community leader. She was born in Jamaica, West Indies, and grew up in Queens. While in college and teaching in local schools, she enlisted in the United States Army Reserve.

Over her 29-year career in the Armed Forces, Gordon served her country overseas as a platoon leader in Germany during Operation Desert Storm, as an operations officer at Guantanamo Bay during the Global War on Terror, as a battle captain in Baghdad during the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, and as commander of the 310th Military Police Battalion in Afghanistan in 2012. She retired from the Army Reserve with the rank of lieutenant colonel in 2014.

She has spent over three decades working in New York public schools, and has earned degrees in education from Hunter College and Queens College. As a guidance counselor at Wilson Technological Center in Farmingdale, she mentored and advised Long Island high schoolers, guiding them into productive lives, into college, and into the workforce.

From 2007 to 2020, she served on the Babylon Town Council, where she worked to direct resources to veterans and military families as chair of the Veterans Advisory Council; pushed for the revitalization of Wyandanch Village, which has breathed new life into the community; and helped raise nearly $1 million for the Wounded Warriors Project through the annual Soldier Ride in Babylon.

Her Platform

Health care: “During a pandemic or not, we need representatives fighting for us in Washington, for our health and to keep more money in Long Islanders’ pockets. In Congress, I will work to make health care more affordable, lower prescription drug costs, and ensure protections for people with pre-existing conditions.”

Education: “I’ve spent over three decades as an educator in New York public schools, teaching and mentoring thousands of our young people. As an educator and as a mom, I believe all of our children deserve access to a high-quality education that prepares them for their future, whether it’s a four-year college or a career and technical school.”

Veterans and military families: “As a veteran, I know the challenges faced by soldiers returning to civilian life, and for military families both during and after their loved one’s deployment. As a member of Congress, I will push to strengthen education, career training, health, and housing assistance for veterans; work with veterans and their families to help them access existing resources; and ensure quality health care through the VA.”

Economy and taxes: “I have always put the people I serve first. As a Babylon Town councilwoman, I worked to strengthen our local economy, improve infrastructure, and breathe new life into our neighborhoods by partnering with small businesses, nonprofit organizations, and the community.”

Public safety: “Having served as a military police officer, I know firsthand what it takes to keep people safe. And it is no easy feat. It means getting weapons of war off of our streets and out of our schools.”

Environment: “It is no secret climate change is a threat to our economy and our way of life. In Congress, I will push for a clean energy plan that will blunt the impact of climate change and create jobs on Long Island.”

Pandemic preparedness: “I will push for us to fund and build a national PPE stockpile that we can distribute quickly. And I will fight to increase funding for research and manufacturing so that we can scale up vaccine development and production at a rapid pace and to enhance regulation of dual-use research, no matter the funding source.”

Republican candidates

Robert M. Cornicelli

Capt. Robert M. Cornicelli is a decorated retiree of the U.S. Army and a U.S. Navy veteran. While on active duty, he served as an aide de camp to a two-star Infantry Division commander, the executive officer to the Counter Narco-Terrorism Task Force and the Domestic All Hazard Response Team, as well as the executive officer to the director of operations in the Defense Intelligence Agency. Cornicelli has dedicated his life to service of his country and to his community.
Cornicelli has served as a school board trustee and a volunteer firefighter, delivering Meals on Wheels, and is a proud lifetime member of both the VFW and the American Legion. He created the Veteran Recovery Coalition 501(c)(3), which feeds, clothes, and helps substance-dependent veterans return to the workforce and has been an advocate for them for almost 10 years. Over the last two years, he has raised thousands of dollars to help families with IDD children get through the pandemic. In the early 2000s, he made several trips to Central America to deliver much-needed school supplies, school textbooks, and computers to schools in need.

“I’ve been helping homeless and substance-dependent veterans, as well as veterans in need, get back on their feet and into the workforce for almost 10 years. I’ve been leading the fight in Suffolk County against critical race theory, DEI, indoctrination, and unmasking our children in schools,” he said of his platform. “I’ve stood side by side with our health care workers against unconstitutional medical mandates and stood by our law enforcement officers when the left threatened to ‘defund police.’ If you believe in ‘America First,’ preserving our freedom and constitutional rights, then I’m the candidate for you.”
Cornicelli is also a husband and a father and has lived on Long Island his entire life. He has fought for first responders and law enforcement officers. He also organized the first of several Defend the Police rallies and stood with frontline health care workers fighting for their medical freedom. Cornicelli has been outspoken against critical race theory and has always been an advocate for more resources for the intellectually and developmentally disabled community.
Cornicelli said he loves his country and believes in the “America First” model. His platform: “He is committed to help save America as an insurgent ‘America First’ patriot candidate who cannot be controlled by the establishment. He will never bend a knee to the radical left and he will always put America and Americans first and will proudly serve as congressman with integrity representing his constituents.”

-Compiled by Nicole Fuentes



Mike Rakebrandt

Mike Rakebrandt grew up in Brooklyn and joined the U.S. Navy at age 22. He proudly served for over nine years as a submariner and then a hospital corpsman, alongside USMC infantry battalions in the Middle East. In 2004, while deployed in Iraq, he was wounded in combat and was awarded the Purple Heart and the Navy Achievement Medal with Combat Distinguishing Device. 

With a desire to continue his public service and fulfill a childhood dream, Rakebrandt joined the NYPD in 2007, after which he was promoted to the Detective Bureau in 2013. Always willing to step up to the most challenging assignments—both in the Navy and with the NYPD— Rakebrandt knows that he is at his best when he is serving our country and our community with honor, dignity, and courage. 

Rakebrandt lives in Holbrook, N.Y., with his wife, Lauren, and his four children and their dogs, Luna and Jupiter.

“I am an ‘America First’ Republican with a focus on common-sense legislation and individual freedom. The ‘America First’ platform is simply advocating for Americans, rather than pursuing globalist policies that strip away the individual rights and prosperity from all.”


Andrew Garbarino

Andrew Garbarino has introduced 63 pieces of legislation and cosponsored nearly 430 additional bills on behalf of his constituents.
“From fighting to secure our border and combat rising crime, to working to fully restore the SALT deduction, ensuring our small businesses and restaurants have the adequate funding and resources they deserve, providing important mental health services to our nation’s veterans, and cutting through bureaucratic red tape in order to allow our industries to flourish—Andrew is fully committed to protecting the safety and prosperity of Long Islanders,” his campaign reads.
He has supported 51 legislation that have passed the House of Representatives, including several that he introduced: the Small Business Development Center Cyber Training Act of 2021, Cybersecurity Grants for Schools Act of 2022, and the Transit Security Grant Program Flexibility Act, and the VSO Support Act, which assists struggling veterans’ halls. Additionally, Garbarino supported legislation to posthumously award a Congressional Gold Medal to the service members who perished in Afghanistan on Aug. 26, 2021, during the evacuation of citizens of the United States and Afghan allies at Hamid Karzai International Airport.
Garbarino has also made local services and collaboration a top priority. Through his first term, his office has assisted 2,700 constituents and recovered over $2 million from the federal government to return to local taxpayers. He has also convened a local Veterans Advisory Council to ensure that our veterans are receiving the services and support they deserve, as well as a Small Business Council to listen, learn, and take ideas back to Washington.
Prior to his election to Congress in 2020, Garbarino served four terms in the New York State Assembly and worked as an attorney at his family’s law firm in Sayville. He resides in Bayport, and remains a parishioner at St. Lawrence the Martyr Catholic Church in Sayville.


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