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A new challenger for one of LI's seats in Congress

Dan Janison

The breakneck special election frenzy in the Third Congressional District is over, but the focus on what happens with the other three House seats on Long Island is just starting to rev up.

Now the race for the First Congressional District seat is on the cusp of getting an extra dose of national notice as John Avlon, who recently departed CNN as an on-air political analyst and fill-in anchor, prepares to jump in on the Democratic side. Sources close to the 51-year-old Avlon, a Sag Harbor resident who has voted in the East End congressional district for years, confirmed to The Point that he’ll publicly disclose his candidacy in the coming days.

Party sources said other Democratic primary candidates are expected to include: Nancy Goroff, a chemist who won the Democratic primary for the seat in 2020 and lost the general election to then-Rep. Lee Zeldin; former State Sen. Jim Gaughran, who has also served in the Suffolk County Legislature; and Kyle Hill, a health care policy wonk who was an aide to ex-Rep. Steve Israel and to Rep. Suzan DelBene of Washington State.

They’d be vying to take on first-term Republican Rep. Nick LaLota.

From his former perch at CNN, Avlon has voiced deep concerns about the MAGA movement and Donald Trump, who is expected to lead the national GOP ticket for the third straight time, while LaLota has been part of the House majority caucus targeting President Joe Biden.

Last September, Avlon appeared at the Cinema Arts Centre in Huntington to talk about his recent book, “Lincoln and the Fight for Peace.” The discussion was moderated by his wife, Margaret Hoover, who hosts the current “Firing Line” program on PBS and is a great granddaughter of President Herbert Hoover.

Avlon started out as a speechwriter in the mayoral administration of Rudy Giuliani. He’s been editor-in-chief of the Daily Beast and in 2010 a founding leader of No Labels, the nonprofit organization. On X, formerly Twitter, he’s most recently reposted coverage of Democrat Tom Suozzi’s recouping of the CD3 seat.