Campaign Spotlight: House Challengers in New York

September 27, 2016

New York’s 1st District

Our endorsee: Anna Throne-Holst spotlight-throne-holst

Throne-Holst, the former three-term Supervisor of Long Island’s Town of Southampton, is challenging a one-term Republican incumbent for a seat that was Democratic from 2003-2015. She has extensive experience with diplomacy and international relations, having worked with the UN Department of Peacekeeping and obtained a Master’s Degree in public administration and international affairs from Columbia.

She supported the Iran nuclear agreement, and has touted the importance of a two-state solution as “critical to bringing about lasting peace and stability in the Middle East.”

The Opponent: Rep. Lee Zeldin

The only current Jewish Republican Member of Congress, Zeldin has proven himself to be one of the most extreme opponents of diplomacy and pro-Israel, pro-peace, pro-democracy policies. He has criticized the Obama administration for speaking out against settlement expansion, and demanded that a State Department spokesman be fired for pointing out that both Palestinian and Israeli civilians have carried out acts of violence and terror.

Zeldin has praised Donald Trump’s Israel policies. He has been an outspoken leader of efforts to oppose the Iran nuclear deal, and to undermine it since its implementation. In August, he was slammed by J Street for outrageous comments in relation to negotiations over returning frozen Iranian assets, in which he accused President Obama of dual loyalty and traitorous activity, suggesting he might be “playing for some other team.”

Key quote

New York’s Newsday described Zeldin as

A front-line spokesman for the GOP’s hawkish views on Israel.

The race

The Cook Political Report currently lists the race as a Toss-Up.

New York’s 23rd District

Our endorsee: John Plumb

spotlight-plumbPlumb has dedicated his life to public service and protecting the citizens of the United States, Israel, and our allies across the globe. He first served in the Navy as a submarine officer, and later as an official at the Department of Defense and a senior staff member on the National Security Council. For the past 6 years Plumb was deeply involved in missile defense as it pertains to the security of Israel, including strengthening US-Israeli bilateral defense cooperation. As the Pentagon’s Principal Director for Nuclear and Missile Defense, he met numerous times with members of the Israeli government, and traveled twice to Israel as part of Department of Defense delegations.

Plumb has criticized Republicans for their endorsement of the incredibly dangerous and irresponsible policies of Donald Trump, writing that “Any endorsement of Trump lends legitimacy to his dangerous vision for America, further placing our military service members in danger and further weakening our national security.”

The opponent: Rep. Tom Reed

spotlight-opponents-plumbReed has been one of many GOP hawks pandering to the right on Israel. He has attacked the Obama administration on the Iran deal, saying that “President Obama endangered our nation, our ally Israel, and our entire world with the Iran Nuclear Deal.” Reed has described the year in which all Iranian pathways to a nuclear weapon were blocked as “a year of failure.”

The race

Cook Political Report currently lists the race as “Lean Republican.”