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Polls open for Republican congressional primary today

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Republican voters go to the polls Tuesday in a primary election to select candidates for U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.

Although George Demos of Brookhaven withdrew from the First Congressional District race a month ago, his name is still on today’s ballot.

Randy Altschuler of St. James, is challenging incumbent Democrat Tim Bishop of Southampton. Altschuler narrowly lost to Bishop in a hotly contested race in 2010. The Republican has the Conservative and Independence party lines this year. 

Altschuler issued a statement on Friday urging his supporters to go to the polls and vote in today’s primary.

“If we want to change Congress, we need to start by changing congressmen,” Altschuler said.  “The first step in that process is voting in Tuesday’s Republican Primary and sending a clear message to Barack Obama and Tim Bishop that Republicans are energized, united and ready to win in November.  I urge everyone to take a few moments out of their day to participate in the process next Tuesday and bring us one step closer to retiring the Obama-Bishop team this fall.”

Three people are seeking the GOP nomination to challenge incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand in November: Wendy Long, of Manhattan, Bob Turner of Queens and George Maragos of Nassau.

Long, a New Hampshire native, is a 14-year resident of New York, a lawyer and a founder of the Judicial Crisis Network, an organization dedicated to educating the public “about the proper role of the judiciary under the American Constitution.” A former law clerk to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, she is a member of Mitt Romney’s Judiciary Advisory Committee. She is married and the mother of two children.

Turner, of Queens, is a former television industry executive who was elected to the House of Representatives (NY-9th District) in a special election in 2011. He is a U.S. Army veteran and a graduate of St. John’s University. He is married and the father of five, and a grandfather of 13.

Marangos is the Nassau County comptroller. He was born in Greece, immigrated to Canada with his family at age 9 and moved to New York in 1978. He became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1985. He holds a master’s degree in finance from Pace University, worked for Chase Manhattan Bank and Citibank before founding his own small business in 1989, which he served as president for 20 years before being elected Nassau County comptroller in 2009. He and his wife of 37 years have two children and two grandchildren.

Polls are open Tuesday from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.