The First Congressional District election is now a two-man race — George Demos, R-Ronkonkoma, withdrew his candidacy Friday.
In a statement emailed Friday afternoon, Demos said he is stepping aside to focus on his pending nuptials and new family. Demos writes that he and his fiancee, Chrysa, will be married in a week.
"Both my impending marriage and my race for Congress are deeply important to me," he said. "But our marriage comes first."
Demos' exit leaves incumbent U.S. Rep. Tim Bishop, D-Southampton, and challenger Randy Altschuler, R-Smithtown. This was Demos' second time facing Altschuler in a GOP primary.
Altschuler followed up Demos' statement with one of his own — much more congenial than their past exchanges — and took the opportunity to dig at his now sole opponent, Bishop.
“My wife Cheryl and I wish George and his bride-to-be, Chrysa, much happiness in their future together,” Altschuler said. “While George and I have competed fiercely at times for the Republican nomination, both in 2010 and this year, we share a common goal — and that is defeating Obama rubberstamp, incumbent Congressman Tim Bishop, and bringing an end to his job-killing agenda that has badly hurt the people of Suffolk County.”
Altschuler defeated both Demos and Christopher Cox — President Richard Nixon's grandson — in the 2010 GOP primary. Altschuler went on to be by Bishop in the general election, and hopes to have a reversal of fortunes in 2012, especially since he , which Bishop held the last time around. Altschuler also , ahead of the planned June 26 primary.