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Lee Zeldin
Member of the United States House of Representatives

Assumed office
January 3, 2015
Preceded by Tim Bishop
Member of the New York Senate
from the 3rd district

In office
January 1, 2011 – December 31, 2014
Preceded by Brian X. Foley
Succeeded by Thomas Croci
Personal details
Born January 30, 1980(1980-01-30) (age 41)
East Meadow, New York, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Diana Zeldin
Children 2
Residence Shirley, New York, U.S.
Alma mater SUNY Albany (BA)
Albany Law School (JD)
Profession Lawyer, politician
Website House website
Military service
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 2003–present
Rank Major US-O4 insignia.svg
Battles/wars Iraq War

Lee Zeldin (born January 30, 1980) is an American lawyer and politician. A Republican, he has represented New York's 1st congressional district in the United States House of Representatives since 2015. New York's 1st district includes Central and Eastern Suffolk County, including most of Smithtown, as well as the entirety of the towns of Brookhaven, Riverhead, Southold, Southampton, East Hampton, and Shelter Island, and a small portion of Islip.

Early life, education, and military service[]

Zeldin was raised in Shirley, Suffolk County, New York and graduated from William Floyd High School in 1998. He received a B.A. (cum laude) in political science from the State University of New York at Albany in 2001 and earned his Juris Doctor from Albany Law School in May 2003.[1]

Upon graduation from law school, Zeldin received an Army ROTC commission as a Second Lieutenant, assigned to the Military Intelligence Corps of the United States Army. He became a member of the New York State Bar in January 2004 at the age of 23. In 2006, he was deployed to Iraq with an infantry battalion of paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division. Zeldin also served as a lawyer in the Judge Advocate General's Corps. In 2007, he transitioned from active duty to the Army Reserve where he currently serves with the rank of Major. In 2008, Zeldin started a law practice in Smithtown, New York, which he operated full time until being elected to New York's 3rd State Senate district in 2010.[1]

New York Senate[]


In 2010, Zeldin ran in the New York Senate's 3rd district, challenging Democratic incumbent Brian X. Foley. Zeldin defeated Foley 58%–42%.[2] In 2012, he won re-election to a second term, defeating Democrat Francis Genco, 56%–44%.[3]


In January 2011, Zeldin co-sponsored legislation that enacted a 2% property tax cap.[4]

In June 2011, Zeldin voted against the Marriage Equality Act, which the Senate passed 33–29.[5] In a statement after the bill passed, Zeldin said: "It is my belief that marriage should be defined as between a man and a woman."[6]

In December 2011, Zeldin supported a $250 million cut to the MTA payroll tax.[7][8]

In March 2012, Zeldin created the PFC Joseph Dwyer PTSD Peer-to-Peer Veterans Support program as part of the 2012–13 New York State Budget.[9][10]

On January 14, 2013, Zeldin did not vote on the NY SAFE Act, a gun control bill that passed the New York State Senate, 43 votes to 18.[11] In a statement released to the press after the vote, Zeldin said he would have voted against the measure.[12]

In February 2014, Zeldin introduced a bill that sought to halt implementation of the Common Core curriculum for three years.[13] The bill was referred to the Senate Education committee.

On March 17, 2014, Zeldin voted against the New York Dream Act.[14][15]

U.S. Congress[]



In 2008, Zeldin challenged incumbent Democratic Congressman Tim Bishop in New York's 1st congressional district. Bishop defeated Zeldin 58%–42%.[16]


On October 6, 2013, Zeldin announced he would seek the Republican nomination to again run against incumbent Democratic Congressman Tim Bishop.[17]

Zeldin defeated George Demos in the Republican Party primary[18] and ran unopposed for the Conservative Party nomination in the primary on June 24, 2014. Zeldin had the backing of former Congressman and U.S. House Majority leader Eric Cantor,[19] former Congressman Allen West,[20] U.S. Senator John McCain,[21] and former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum.[22]

Zeldin was endorsed by the United States Chamber of Commerce,[23] the National Federation of Independent Business,[24] the Suffolk County Republican Committee,[25] and Suffolk County Conservative Party Chairman Ed Walsh.[26][27][28]

On June 24, 2014, Zeldin defeated George Demos, 62% to 37%[29] to secure the Republican Party nomination.

On November 4, 2014, Zeldin defeated Bishop, 54% to 45%,[30] to represent New York's 1st congressional district in the United States Congress.[31]


In February 2015, the NRCC announced that Zeldin was one of 12 members in the Patriot Program, a program designed to help protect vulnerable Republican incumbents heading into the 2016 election.[32][33]

Zeldin ran for re-election in 2016. He faced no opposition in the Republican primary, which was held on June 28, 2016. He was challenged in the November 8, 2016, general election by Anna Throne-Holst, winner of the Democratic primary.[34] Preliminary results from the Suffolk County Board of Elections showed Zeldin securing nearly 59% of the vote to retain his seat.[35]



In July 2015, Zeldin attached an amendment to the Student Success Act. This amendment would allow for states to opt-out of Common Core without penalty.[36] The amendment was passed and signed into law thereafter.[37]

Environmental issues

In 2015, Zeldin had a 14% environmental rating from the League of Conservation voters.[38] He was 29% below average for members of the House of Representatives, and the second lowest rated congressman in the New York delegation.[39]

In April 2015, Zeldin, along with Charles Schumer, the senior United States Senator from New York, introduced the Fluke Fairness Act. The bill would reform the current system for managing fluke fishing quotas by creating a regional approach to updating quotas and standards based on geographic, scientific, and economic data.[40] The bill has not been passed.[citation needed]

On July 15, 2015, Zeldin introduced the Exclusive Economic Zone Clarification Act.[41] The bill proposed to amend the boundary in part of the federal Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). It would give fisheries management of Block Island Sound exclusively to New York and Rhode Island; some Connecticut fishermen said the bill could put them out of business.[42]

Also in September 2015, Zeldin, along with Adrienne Esposito, executive director of Citizens Campaign for the Environment, condemned the dumping of dredged materials, stating: “We can't just assume that dumping these waste spoils in the Long Island Sound is environmentally benign.”[43][44]

In 2016, the League of Conservation Voters awarded Zeldin an 8% rating, which was the worst record in the entire New York State congressional delegation.[45] He has opposed the Stream Protection Rule.[46]

Foreign affairs

In January 2016, the New York Post reported that Zeldin was a no-show in 2015 at 12 of 18 House Committee on Foreign Affairs hearings that dealt specifically with ISIL and with Syria.[47][48]

Zeldin criticized President Obama's Iran Nuclear Deal.[49]

In February 2016, Zeldin, along with Republican congressmen Mike Pompeo of Kansas and Frank LoBiondo of New Jersey, sought visas to travel to Iran to check the country's compliance with the Iran nuclear deal framework.[50][51] On June 7, 2016, Iran called the request a "publicity stunt" and said it would deny the visas.[52]

Health care

On May 4, 2017, Zeldin voted in favor of repealing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and passing the American Health Care Act.[53][54][55]

In May 2015, Zeldin voted for H.R.36, a bill which he co-sponsored, that would prohibit abortions in cases where the probable age of the fetus is 20 weeks or later and would impose criminal penalties on doctors who violate the ban.[56]

As of September 2015, Zeldin co-sponsored two bills in Congress that would combat Lyme disease. The bills are the Tick-Borne Disease Research and Accountability and Transparency Act of 2015[57] and the 21st Century Cures Act.[58][59]

On September 18, 2015, Zeldin voted for the Defund Planned Parenthood Act of 2015,[60] a bill that would defund Planned Parenthood for one year unless the organization agrees to not provide abortion services.[61][62]

Land Management

In April 2016, Zeldin introduced legislation to prevent the federal government's sale of Plum Island to the highest bidder.[63] In May 2016, his bill unanimously passed the U.S. House.[64]

Same-sex marriage

In June 2015, after the United States Supreme Court ruled in Obergefell v. Hodges that state-level bans on same-sex marriage are unconstitutional. Zeldin would not comment about his view of same-sex marriage, however he indicated that he believed the issue should have been decided at the state level.[65]

A month later, Zeldin signed on as a co-sponsor of the First Amendment Defense Act,[66] a bill whose supporters say is designed to protect Americans who use their religious beliefs to deny services to same sex couples or unmarried pregnant women. Critics of the measure say it will enable people to violate the legal rights of same-sex couples and their children by discriminating against them.[67]

According to the legislation, the federal government is not allowed to “take any discriminatory action against a person, wholly or partially on the basis that such person believes or acts in accordance with a religious belief or moral conviction that marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman, or that sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage.”[68][69]

Veterans affairs

In February 2015, Zeldin introduced his first bill, which would eliminate the loan limit of a loan that the United States Department of Veterans Affairs can guarantee for a veteran.[70]

In February 2016, Zeldin proposed federal legislation that would fund a three-year, $25 million nationwide veterans peer support program modeled on one he helped establish in New York State.[71]

Committee assignments[]

  • Committee on Foreign Affairs
    • Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa
    • Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade
  • Committee on Financial Services
    • Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance
    • Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations
    • Subcommittee on Terrorism and Illicit Finance


Zeldin is the Co-Chairman of the Long Island Sound Caucus[citation needed], and is a member of the Climate Solutions Caucus.[72][73]

He is a member of the Republican Main Street Partnership.[74]

Political positions[]

Zeldin was ranked as the 45th most bipartisan member of the U.S. House of Representatives during the 114th United States Congress (and the eighth most bipartisan member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New York) in the Bipartisan Index created by The Lugar Center and the McCourt School of Public Policy that ranks members of the United States Congress by their degree of bipartisanship (by measuring the frequency each member's bills attract co-sponsors from the opposite party and each member's co-sponsorship of bills by members of the opposite party).[75]

In July 2015, Lee Zeldin was among nine Republicans facing attacks for meeting with Oath Keepers, a group of retired military, police and fire department employees, which some say is an extremist conservative group.[76]

Donald Trump[]

Zeldin endorsed Donald Trump as the Republican presidential nominee after Trump effectively clinched the nomination on May 3, 2016.[77] Zeldin had previously indicated that he would support the eventual Republican nominee.[78]

Zeldin faulted Trump for a comment about Khizr and Ghazala Khan, a Gold Star family whose son Humayun, a Captain in the Army, was killed during the Iraq War, but stated he would continue to support Trump and agreed that Trump was correct for calling Captain Khan a hero.[79]

Zeldin supported Donald Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey, saying it offered the FBI a chance at a “fresh start” to rebuild trust.[80]

Personal life[]

Zeldin is a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion, and the Jewish War Veterans. He is married to Diana Zeldin, and they have twin daughters, Mikayla and Arianna.[81] They live in Shirley, New York.[1]


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  13. Franchi, Jaime (February 16, 2014). "Common Core Adjustments Do Not Go Far Enough, Blast Opponents". Long Island Press. Retrieved September 27, 2016. 
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  80. "With Comey out, Schumer urges special prosecutor". Newsday. 
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External links[]

Unrecognised parameter
Preceded by
Brian X. Foley
New York State Senate, 3rd District
Succeeded by
Thomas Croci
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Tim Bishop
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 1st congressional district

January 3, 2015 – present
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
David Young
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Dan Donovan
R-New York

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