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Elaine DiMasi has officially hung up her lab coat — forgoing her position as a physicist at Brookhaven National Laboratory to jump into the 2018 race for the congressional seat in New York’s 1st District. The 1st District, comprised by much of Suffolk County, has been held by incumbent Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY). Cook Political Report puts Zeldin in a safe spot, with the 1st District likely remaining Republican in next year’s midterm. The 48-year-old Ronkonkoma resident joins a small enclave of Democratic candidates looking to take on Zeldin in a seat that looks hard to beat. But after almost a year of planning, DiMasi is done wading and is ready to take the plunge. “Are they going to say wow that’s great, a different kind of candidate that can get out the vote or are they going to say I want that seat?” DiMasi said. If successful, DiMasi would…

It seems like almost everyone knows billionaire business mogul Donald Trump. Trump has stirred conversation here and abroad, much of it negative. Many of the foreign students we spoke to found Trump’s politics shocking yet strangely familiar. He is employing tactics that have been used in many countries throughout history.   The potential endgame of a Trump presidency, however, seemed to concern them all. Brazil: “This Type of Leader Spreads.” Ana Ribeiro, Sasha Botello and Allan Franco, a group of Brazilian students, said they spent a whole night discussing the possible consequences of a Trump presidency. The American economy could collapse, they said, if Trump’s hostilities against immigrants reached a fever pitch. “The country attracts the greatest minds,” said Allan Franco, a chemical engineering major. “It would be really bad.” Donald Trump, known for misogynist comments, praising America’s strength, and saying he’s fighting for the country, reminded the group of…

If New York wants to pretend that it’s democratic, it needs to fix how its elections work. The United States as a whole is not a shining beacon of voter turnout, instead trailing most of the developed world, according to the Pew Research Center, but New York’s turnout is absolutely abysmal. In 2008, only 19.5 percent of eligible voters participated in the presidential primaries. During the 2014 midterm elections, when congressional seats were up for grabs, turnout was only 28.8 percent. And here’s another fun fact: in 2012, only 1.4 percent of New York Republicans cast a vote in the presidential primaries, according to the Bipartisan Policy Center. Those numbers should terrify anyone who wants to have faith in participatory democracy. It’s true that the presidential primaries are garnering a lot more interest than usual, both nationally and across the state. One needn’t look further than Stony Brook University, where…

Ohio Governor John Kasich is the first presidential candidate to visit Long Island ahead of the New York Republican primary on April 19. He made two appearances, one at Hofstra University and another in Huntington. Kasich answered numerous questions ranging from women’s health to higher education and gun control. He also responded to a comment about his lack of coverage by media outlets. “How can you claim to be a candidate for women and families when you defunded Planned Parenthood in Ohio, your home state,” asked a Hofstra student attending the event. “I think the organization has discredited itself,” Kasich said in response, “We’re not going to reduce funding for women’s health, there’s no way we’re going to do that. We’re going to have other entities like hospitals where people can go and get what they want.” Kasich continued by citing his increase in Ohio’s Medicaid program, which he states…

Since 1980, over three thousand candidates have filed with the Federal Election Commission to run for president of the United States. Some potential candidates were career politicians, others were billionaires. But most were the average American. With such a large field of candidates in 2016, even well-known candidates like Chris Christie and Martin O’Malley weren’t able to compete with the boisterous Donald Trump and well-funded Hillary Clinton. But there are some candidates who have neither the clout nor the capital to get into anything more than the local spotlight. These “lesser-known” candidates lack the support of their respective parties and just can’t get media attention, but they took time from their campaigns to be interviewed and explain their platform, and in some cases, complain. This is a story about the people who, like Don Quixote, will joust at windmills, yet still show a strange determination to win the presidency. Willie…

“A Free Education on Bernie Sanders,” fostered civic participation among the Stony Brook community on Wednesday night in SAC Ballroom B. The event allowed college professors, local activists and former alumni to speak to anyone who wanted to learn more about the presidential candidate. The talk was attended by Stony Brook students and faculty who listened to guest speakers explain Sanders’ political beliefs. During the event, volunteers asked registered democrats to sign delegate petitions and speakers encouraged the political involvement of young people at Stony Brook. “Because all of you are young and are college students this is your opportunity to get involved and build the kind of world you want to live,” said Moumita Ahmed, a Stony Brook alumni and organizer of the New York City March for Bernie this coming Saturday.   The event was organized by “Seawolves for Sanders,” a group made up of Stony Brook University…