Election 2022: Long Island Congressional races could decide control of Congress

From the 1st District to the 2nd, 3rd and 4th, all eyes are on Long Island’s contentious congressional races on Election Day.

Republican Nick LaLota, who is the chief of staff of the presiding officer of the Suffolk County Legislature, and Democrat Bridget Fleming, a Suffolk County legislator, are in a race to replace a seat held by Rep. Lee Zeldin, who’s now at the top of the ticket for the GOP.

"We want someone who will protect fundamental freedoms like a woman’s right to make her own medical decisions and have the backs of Long Islanders," Fleming said.

"She’s running her campaign and I’m running mine," LaLota said. "Mine is focused on the economy, public safety, protecting freedoms."

RELATED: 2022 Midterm Elections: When you can expect to learn the results

Political analyst Larry Levy, who is the executive dean of the National Center for Suburban Studies at Hofstra University, calls it an unusual election year with competition in the 1st District.

"There’s no incumbent and there are two candidates dealing with specific strengths and weaknesses that make this arguably a fair fight district," he said.

Other races include a repeat of the 2020 matchup between Republican incumbent Andrew Garbarino and Democrat Jackie Gordon in the 2nd District as well as Democrat Robert Zimmerman and Republican George Santos, both the first openly gay candidates, who are vying for Tom Suozzi’s seat in the 3rd District.

RELATED: Election 2022: NY Attorney General's race hits the home stretch

"The fact that Jill Biden was sent to that district last week means the Democrats are still concerned about their prospects there," Levy said.

Levy says the 4th District has the potential to be the most surprising as Democrat Laura Gillen faces off against Republican Anthony D’Esposito to replace retiring longtime Democratic congresswoman Kathleen Rice.

"The Republicans clearly felt with the headwinds nationally the Democrats are facing that this may be a winnable district," he said.

Experts say the four congressional races out on Long Island could essentially determine which party has the majority in Congress.

"It’s possible we can wake up the day after elections and Long Island's four seats could be the ones that decide who has the majority or not," Levy said.