Town of Smithtown Supervisor Patrick Vecchio announced his endorsement of incumbent Tim Bishop, D- Southampton, in the race for New York's first congressional seat at a short press conference on Tuesday.
"This is not about friendship or loyalty. It's about who is best for the town of Smithtown," Supervisor Vecchio said.
This marks the third time Vecchio has crossed party lines to endorse Bishop. Smithtown is home to 22,200 registered Republicans and 20,986 registered Democrats, according to the Suffolk County Board of Elections.
Vecchio credited Bishop for securing more than $6 million for Smithtown projects. According to Bishop's campaign team, Congressman Bishop has worked closely with Supervisor Vecchio to secure federal funding for local infrastructure improvement projects, like road resurfacing and upgrades to Old Nichols Road, Maple Avenue, and road repairs designed to alleviate flooding in the Nissequogue River Watershed.
Prior to the Republican primary on Sept. 14, Town of Smithtown Councilmen Robert J. Creighton, Kevin J. Malloy, Thomas J. McCarthy, Edward R. Wertheim, Town Clerk Vincent Puleo, Superintendent of Highways Glenn Jorgensen and Receiver of Taxes Deanna Varricchio all endorsed Randy Altschuler outside of Town Hall.
"We formally endorse Randy Altschuler in his campaign to return control of the first congressional district seat to the Republican Party," the group said in a statement. "Randy Altschuler's life experience, private sector skills and belief in Republican principles make him uniquely qualified to serve in Congress. As a proven job creator and believer in the free enterprise system, he will be able to take Tim Bishop to task for his support of the big spending, high taxing, job killing agenda of Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Barack Obama."
The district seat under contention is made up of central and eastern Suffolk County and consists of the Towns of Brookhaven, Riverhead, Southold, Southampton, East Hampton, and Shelter Island, in addition to Smithtown.
Bishop has held the seat since 2003 and currently has a campaign headquarters on Main Street.
"About 40-50 supporters come in [to the Smithtown Campaign Headquarters] every week from around the community to volunteer," said Audrey Kubetin, Bishop's press secretary.
Bishop commended Vecchio for the endorsement.
"I am honored and delighted to have the endorsement of Supervisor Vecchio," Rep. Bishop said. "I take it as very, very high praise from a man who has done it all and been through it all."