Trump-Backed Candidate Wins NY GOP Primary

Image: Trump-Backed Candidate Wins NY GOP Primary New York state Sen. Lee Zeldin.

Wednesday, 25 Jun 2014 12:43 PM

By Melanie Batley

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New York state Sen. Lee Zeldin, Donald Trump's choice in the GOP primary for the state's 1st Congressional District, scored an overwhelming victory against former Wall Street prosecutor George Demos on Tuesday.

The 34-year-old Suffolk County native took 63 percent of the vote, compared to Demos' 37 percent at the time The Associated Press called the race, despite being heavily outspent by Demos and outside groups, according to Politico.

"Lee is a fine young man. I believe in him and I believe in his philosophy," Trump told Newsmax. "He ran a very good campaign and I was very glad to see him win by a landslide."

Trump had backed Zeldin in an automated phone call to 50,000 households in the final days of the campaign. "Nobody better, very conservative. He's going to do something very strong against Obamacare. He will make you all very happy and very proud of your country," Trump said.

Aside from Trump's support, Zeldin had the backing of the state and county GOP and conservative parties, as well as the national Republican Party.

Demos had the support of former Gov. George Pataki and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, as well as the Americans for Common Sense PAC.

Zeldin, an Army veteran who served in Iraq, ran unsuccessfully for the congressional district in 2008, losing to Democratic incumbent Tim Bishop, 58 percent to 42 percent. He ran for state senator in 2010 when he unseated Brian Foley, and was re-elected by a wide margin in 2012.

Zeldin will once again challenge Bishop, the six-term incumbent who is considered by the National Republican Congressional Committee as one of the most vulnerable Democrats in November.

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