Liuba Grechen Shirley, a Democratic nominee and first-time candidate challenging longtime Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford), cited her young children as part of why she initially hesitated to run for office and said she had to be persuaded by those in her community.
She made history in May by winning Federal Election Commission approval to use campaign funds to cover child care costs while she is stumping. She said she has been fielding messages from mothers — and some fathers — across the country seeking guidance on requesting the same at the state level.
The Amityville activist also has bonded with state Assemb. Christine Pellegrino, a West Islip Democrat who won a special election in 2017 in a district that supported Trump.
The pair met as mothers organizing in their communities, and when Pellegrino decided to run for the state Assembly, “I strapped my baby to my chest and took my toddler out and we went canvassing for her,” Grechen Shirley said.
Pellegrino has returned the favor, endorsing Grechen Shirley’s congressional bid.
“It’s important in all aspects of life to see people who are like you, doing things you want to do,” Grechen Shirley said. “If you’ve never been through a campaign, you don’t know what campaign life is like.”