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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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Congressman Bishop retains seat for N.Y.’s first district

After a fiercely fought race, Democrat Representative Tim Bishop beat Republican businessman Randy Altschuler by more than 11,000 votes last week to win his sixth term in New York’s 1st Congressional District.

The relatively comfortable lead surprised many who followed the race. When the two candidates first ran against each other two years ago, the incumbent congressman beat Altschuler by only 593 votes and the final result was announced a month after Election Day.

This time, Bishop received 52 percent of the 254,000 votes, and he was able to claim victory right before midnight on Tuesday, Nov. 6.

The Southampton representative acknowledged the competitiveness of the race, but he said his campaign staff and volunteers were the best team he could ever have.

“The only things that’s worse than a sore loser is a lousy winner, so I’m not going to say a lot of what’s in my head and in my heart,” Bishop told supporters at the Islandia Marriott Tuesday night. “But what I am going to say is that my opponent might have had the guys with the big checks. [But] I had the guys with the big hearts.”

Independent groups, including Super PACS, spent more than $4 million on the race. Out of that amount, about $3 million was spent by groups supporting Altschuler.

Much of that money was used toward negative ads. Some of them dubbed Bishop “Tricky Tim” over allegations of campaign finance quid pro quo. The ads referred to a campaign contribution Bishop received from a constituent right after the man asked the congressman’s help with a fireworks permit earlier this year.

Supporters of Bishop also came out with negative ads against Altschuler. Some of them accused the Republican of being an “outsourcing pioneer” because of OfficeTiger, a business process outsourcing company Altschuler co-founded in 2000.

The St. James Republican, who was endorsed by Newsday, said in a statement to supporters last week that he was “deeply disappointed by the outcome” of the election.

On Election Day, the two candidates made a quick appearance at Stony Brook University to interact with students and speak with reporters.

During the visit, Bishop talked about the work he has done over the last few days to help Long Islanders who were affected by Superstorm Sandy and the gas shortage.

Sandy was likely one of the reasons why Bishop got more votes. While Altschuler decided not to campaign during the week of the storm, his opponent was still in the news, since he is currently the representative for this district.

The First Congressional District comprises of most of Central and Eastern Suffolk County, including most of the Town of Smithtown and the towns of Brookhaven, Riverhead, Southampton, East Hampton, Southold and Shelter Island.

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