Nick Di Iorio, the Republican candidate for congress in New York’s 12th congressional district, met recently with the editorial board of The Jewish Press at the newspaper’s Boro Park office. The district includes the east side of Manhattan, western Queens, and parts of Brooklyn (Greenpoint & Williamsburg).
During the meeting, Di Iorio spoke about his recent trip to Israel, meeting citizens, government officials and members of the IDF. He spoke about the ways he differs from Obama on Israel and America’s foreign policy in the Middle East. He said that supporting Israel is in America’s best interest, as Israel is at the forefront of fighting the same fight as the U.S. – against global Islamic terrorism.
During his visit, while driving south of Jerusalem, Di Iorio’s car was pelted by rocks and he just missed serious injuries by inches.
“Israel is the eastern border of Western civilization,” he said at the meeting.
“It was embarrassing to be asked, Why is Egypt right now a better ally than America? Why is Israel doing more than the U.S. to protect Israel?”
“President Obama is choking off munitions to Israel,” he added, “in effect hurting Israel’s ability to defend itself. He must initiate unconditional re-supply of all armaments to Israel for its defense. But the long game is Iran. People who are focusing on the Gaza conflict don’t realize that Iran’s desire to have a nuclear weapon is the biggest threat to Israel, America, and Europe.”
Di Iorio was a financial contractor for Pfizer and spent six years in the seminary studying to become a Catholic priest. He said that he made the decision at a young age that he wanted to serve. He said that studying to become a priest “was a significant life choice. Serving as a volunteer to help those in need will always be a part of my life. And in Congress, I will serve the people of New York and my country – that is who I will be accountable to.”
During the meeting, Di Iorio came across as very knowledgeable of the issues and driven. He said he still volunteers at homeless shelters and other mission work at least once a week. He has shown that he understands the social problems that exist in New York City and is very supportive of giving religious institutions the support necessary to help the less fortunate. He has experienced firsthand the wonderful work that local Jewish organizations do to help people in need.
“I will never be a part of the establishment cronyism in politics, where billionaires and other powerful political players engage in the ‘you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours’ while forgetting about the people they are supposed to be working for,” he said.
When asked about his chances as a Republican in an area that has recently been voting Democratic (he is running against longtime incumbent Rep. Carolyn Maloney), Di Iorio explained that he is on the ballot on the Republican, Conservative, Libertarian, and Independence lines. Additionally, he added, that with redistricting he has almost 90,000 registered voters affiliated with those parties. So, he said, that with a turnout which is estimated to be around 200,000, he needs only an additional 30,000 Democratic voters to pull the lever for him.