New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo is headed to Hauppauge to rally for U.S. Rep. Tim Bishop, who is in the midst of a hotly contested re-election campaign.
Cuomo, who will join Bishop at IBEW Local 25 Hall at 2:30 p.m. Friday, will be the third New York heavy hitter to come to Long Island this week to help put the five-term congressman over the top. U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer attended a fundraiser for Bishop at Harris Beach in Uniondale on Tuesday, and U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand joined a "Women for Bishop" rally in Ronkonkoma on Thursday afternoon at Stacie’s Bagels.
On Tuesday, Bishop's camp announced that Cuomo, a fellow Democrat, had given his endorsement, quoting Cuomo as saying, "Tim is a true advocate for Eastern Long Island and all New Yorkers. From fighting for clean air and clean water to fighting to keep jobs in our state at Brookhaven National Laboratory and Gabreski Airport, Tim has shown time and again that he has what it takes to represent our interests in Congress."
Bishop, D-Southampton, is once again facing challenger St. James Republican Randy Altschuler, who Bishop bested by fewer than 600 votes in 2010.
Bishop isn't the only one who has gotten big names to come out to Long Island. House Speaker John Boehner visited St. James earlier this month for an Altschuler fundraiser.
Two recent GOP polls place Altschuler ahead of Bishop by between 3 and 5 points, though an earlier poll by Siena College said Bishop had a 13-point lead.
Robert Pierce, the spokesman for Bishop's campaign, is skeptical of the Republican polls, and he noted that one also says that presidential contender Mitt Romney has a double-digit lead in the First Congressional District. "If you believe that Mitt Romney is beating President Obama by 12 points in this district, then I have a bridge to sell you," Pierce told Patch Thursday.
Bishop's road to victory has been more hazardous this time around, such as when he lost the Independence Party endorsement to Altschuler. The East Hampton Star reported this week that PACs and interest group have poured $3.3 million into this House race so far, and the spending favors Altschuler three-to-one.
This week, Bishop told The New York Times that the pace of the campaign has been "draining," and he knew he was never going to be able to outspend his opponent, and would instead have to outwork him. Altschuler told The Times that his campaign's learned its lessons from 2010, and this time around its working "smarter."