With the retirement of 14-term Republican Congressman Peter King, a South Shore Long Island Congressional District opens up for the first time in years.
In what was seen as a safe district for Republicans with Peter King, now becomes a tossup between Republicans and Democrats.
Stretching from the Town of Hempstead in Nassau County to the Town of Islip in Suffolk County, Democrats enjoy a slight enrollment advantage in this 70 percent Suffolk County, 30 percent Nassau County District.
As of mid-November, 2019, the district was home to 159,500 Democrats and 149,469 Republicans, but add the districts 8,119 enrolled Conservatives with Republicans and the enrollment numbers between Republicans and Democrats becomes nearly identical.
One of the 8,119 enrolled Conservatives in the district is Olga Murray of Oakdale, who was just re-elected to her third term as Islip Town Clerk by a 57 percent-43 percent margin, running on the Republican, Conservative, and Independence Party lines.
The Town of Islip is completely within New York Congressional District 2, and comprises 41 percent of the district, the remaining voters live in Babylon 29 percent, Oyster Bay, 17 percent, and Hempstead 12 percent.
If Murray was the Republican and Conservative nominee and could amass 57 percent in Islip Town – the same percent that she received as Town Clerk, she would be assured victory, as Islip has a Democratic enrollment advantage.
In 2016, President Trump carried the 2nd Congressional District over Hillary Clinton by a 53 percent-44 percent margin, while the result in Islip Town was closer, a 3 point 49 percent-46 percent Trump win.
If Murray announced as a candidate for Congress and was successful in her campaign, Murray would become the first enrolled Conservative elected to Congress since William Carney in 1979.
Many in New York State Conservative Party circles believe that it is long overdue for Republicans to cross endorse a Conservative candidate for Congress in a competitive race.
Murray’s election to Congress on the Conservative line would send a clear message to Albany, that Fusion Voting is alive and well, at a time when rumors swirl about the repeal of the Wilson Pakula Act.
In his support of Fusion Voting, George Marlin the 1993 Conservative Candidate for New York City Mayor recently wrote, ” Voters need minor parties to register their anger and frustration at major party pols who stand for nothing more than maintaining power for its own sake”
I am hopeful that Olga Murray will consider running for Congress, bringing her no-nonsense, fiscal conservative approach from the suburbs of Islip to Washington D.C.
Sackowitz is an enrolled member of the New York State Conservative Party, has served on the Nassau County Conservative Committee, and is active in Republican and Conservative politics in New York State.