With Thomas Suozzi (D–Glen Cove) retiring after his third term ends on Dec. 31, the Third Congressional District race pits Robert Zimmerman (D/Working Families), 68, against George Santos (R/Conservative), 34. Santos lost to Suozzi in 2020 and was not contested in the primary this year. Zimmerman beat out four other candidates in the primary. As of the Sept. 30 deadline, per the Federal Election Commission, Zimmerman has raised $2,257,145 since January, spent $1,645,425 and has $611,720 on hand. The respective figures for Santos are $2,511,970, $2,040,357 and $603,791. The district covers all of the northern portions of Nassau County as well as northeast Queens and northwest Suffolk.
The Whitestone, Queens resident works in finance and investing.
“I’m just fighting for the right to protect the American Dream that my parents came to this country in search of. The same dream that I see wither away under the failed leadership of the folks running the country today,” he said in an interview.
He added, “I’m running for the people. I just want to deliver common sense solutions so people could stop hurting.”
In congress, he wants to help mitigate inflation by “ending the war on the safe extraction of energy in the United States. We need to bring back prosperity through economic growth in the energy sector.”
Santos has received a long list of endorsements from law enforcement agencies and wants to work with local government to repeal and abolish the New York bail reform laws and the criminal justice reforms.
Santos has been criticized for his stand on abortion, and has been quoted as supporting a national ban. He accused of the Democrats of fear mongering on the issue.
“I do not get questions about abortion, because abortion is not on the mind of a single person at night when they go to sleep,” he asserted. “What’s at the top of their minds is, can they afford their rent and mortgage? Can they afford their electric bill? The cost of heating their home this winter is going to be three times higher. So the questions are about the everyday common sense issues.”
“[The Democrats’] track record is atrocious and they can’t defend the Biden, Pelosi and Schumer agenda,” Santos charged. “It’s not about what I want, it’s about what the people want, and I want to be that messenger for them.”
Zimmerman, of Great Neck, owns a marketing communications company. He got his start in politics serving on the staff of Long Island congressmen and later earned appointments by Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. He has also been a member of the Democratic National Committee.
According to his website, Zimmerman served for 20 years on the board of the American Museum of Natural History as a government representative. He is the president of Great Neck B’nai B’rith and the American Jewish Congress Long Island Division.
He has earned endorsements from Suozzi, as well as Governor Kathy Hochul and Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand and former NYC Police Commissioner Bill Bratton.
Regarding the issues, his website states, “Robert has proudly been a leading voice in advocating for Planned Parenthood, LGBTQ+ rights, Medicare for All, gun violence prevention, restoring the SALT deduction, a truly safe and secure Israel and a two state solution in the Middle East, comprehensive immigration reform, defending voting rights, and taking on those that deny the climate crisis.”