NY-03 is essentially all of northern Nassau County, and it takes in communities like Levittown. Rep. Tom Suozzi (D, NY-03) gave up his seat to run for governor (he lost in the primary). Although the district was Biden +8, redistricting made it slightly redder, and it is currently rated a tossup. The race features Robert Zimmerman, a longtime public relations executive, and gay Democratic activist, against Republican George Santos, an investment banker who had a stint at a firm accused of operating a Ponzi scheme.
Zimmerman, like many other closeted gay young men, struggled to find his voice. Coming of age in the suburbs was a lonely and isolating place. A trusted educator even once assured him there were doctors who could “make you well.” Conversion therapy was never an option, but the notion of “not being well” was tough to shake, and helped Zimmerman find his voice, which he began to use for others that society marginalized, left out, and refused to recognize.
After graduating cum laude from Brandeis University and while earning an MBA from Fordham University, Zimmerman headed to Capitol Hill to work as a senior aide for Congressman Lester Wolff and later Congressman James Scheuer, representing communities across Long Island and Queens.
Back in his hometown of Great Neck, Zimmerman started a small business. Now in its 33rd year, ZE Creative Communications has grown and thrived through changing economies, severe recessions, and a global pandemic. ZECC has earned multiple awards and recognition over three decades.
Zimmerman’s advocacy for reform led to his election to the Democratic National Committee. He’s been a strong proponent of major campaign reform initiatives, working for years to dismantle the superdelegate system and get corporate money out of politics—that’s why he has pledged not to accept any corporate PAC funds in his campaign for Congress.
As his national voice grew, Zimmerman was nominated by President Clinton to serve on the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Presidential Commission on the Arts and by President Obama to serve on the National Council on the Humanities. He sits on the boards of the Center for an Urban Future, Reach Out America, and The White Lotus Foundation. In addition, he served for 20 years on the Board of the American Museum of Natural History as a government representative.
ON THE ISSUES
Zimmerman believes that solving the climate crisis is the challenge of our lifetime – a challenge that we must address in order to preserve a future for our children in the United States and the rest of the world. He supports moving away from U.S. economic reliance on fossil fuels and toward clean, renewable energy sources, tax credits for businesses to install clean energy technologies, tax credits for electric vehicles and for the renewable power sources to fuel them, and incentives for companies to install carbon capture technologies.
Zimmerman has said that gun violence is an epidemic. That’s why he supports a federal ban on assault weapons, high-capacity magazines, and untraceable “ghost guns”. He would also enact universal background checks on all gun sales, crack down on interstate gun trafficking to stop the flow of illegal guns into New York, and oppose concealed carry reciprocity.