A Different Pace in Gershon-Zeldin Campaign Final Days

Perry Gershon, the Democratic candidate for Congress in the New York First District, voted on Tuesday morning in East Hampton, where long lines at some polling places were reported. Durell Godfrey

On the eve of Tuesday's vote, Representative Lee Zeldin's campaign announced that he would cast his ballot with his wife and children at 7:15 a.m. at the Mastic Beach Firehouse. Mr. Zeldin will attend a Suffolk Republican Committee watch party at Stereo Garden in Patchogue as the results come in.

Perry Gershon, the Democrat challenging Mr. Zeldin, had three campaign events on Monday and plans to attend an election night gathering at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers union hall in Hauppauge after voting in East Hampton.

Mr. Zeldin's front-runner's approach to campaigning has been to make his pitch to groups, such as the Middle Island and Ridge Civic Associations, the Lake Ronkonkoma Civic Association, and the Three Village Chamber of Commerce. He made a single public visit to East Hampton Town in the past two months — attending the Montauk Seafood Festival in September. Throughout the campaign against Mr. Gershon, he has been favored to win re-election by political handicappers. He was ahead by nine points in a New York Times-Siena College Poll of 502 voters conducted from Oct. 4 to 8.

Based on his official House Facebook posts and two verified Twitter accounts, Mr. Zeldin made about 25 public appearances in the First Congressional District in September and election eve. Chris Boyle, a spokesman for Mr. Zeldin's campaign, said that the public events mentioned on the incumbent’s social media accounts were fewer than the actual total.

Mr. Zeldin and Mr. Gershon debated most recently on Oct. 29 in Hampton Bays.

The pace of Mr. Gershon's campaign has not slackened since he won a five-way Democratic primary in June. His last day off was June 27, Ali Dakich, his press secretary, said.

"As of Election Day eve, I have officially driven 39,000 miles across New York 1. This has been a long road, but I am energized every day by the voters. That is why I have not taken a single day off since winning the Democratic primary, 132 days of listening to the people I hope to represent. Part of why Lee Zeldin has been such an abysmal representative for this district is because he refuses to get out and actually meet with constituents," Mr. Gershon said in an emailed statement. 

Among other October events in the First District that Mr. Zeldin attended were tours of Brookhaven National Laboratory and the Moriches Inlet dredging operation and a ceremony at Calverton National Cemetery. The rare overtly political event mentioned among his social media posts was an Oct. 13 campaign rally with Mark Molinaro on the North Fork.

In September, he had mobile office hours in Medford, attended a Gold Star parents' event in Bartlett Pond Park in Middle Island, and "Lunch With Lee" at the Veterans of Foreign Wars post in Rocky Point.

Mr. Zeldin's most high-profile September event was a round table on MS-13 gang violence with law enforcement and other officials. The congressman attended Brookhaven Town's annual veterans appreciation lunch on Friday and spoke to a class at the Laurel Hill School in East Setauket on Monday.

Mr. Gershon was at the Centereach V.F.W. on Sunday and spent Saturday knocking on doors. On Friday, he and Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone greeted commuters at a Long Island Rail Road station, starting before sunrise. Mr. Gershon spoke at a Brookhaven N.A.A.C.P. barbecue on Sept. 15 and, with David Lys, an East Hampton Town councilman who is also on tomorrow's ballot, attended the Montauk Fall Festival on Oct. 6. 

Polling places are open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.

House Representative Lee Zeldin attended a candidates' forum in Middle Village on Oct. 18.Zeldin for Congress