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Hochul Doesn't Think Crime Is an Issue, But Today's NY Post Cover Suggests Otherwise

AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, Pool

The left is panicking as what were supposed to be reliably blue seats this midterm cycle are suddenly competitive. Despite Democrat denials about crime, New Yorkers are feeling it every day, which is why GOP gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin, who's made it a main issue of his campaign, is now within striking distance of Gov. Kathy Hochul.

Not only was his Long Island house part of a crime scene in a gang-related shooting, but Zeldin himself was also attacked on stage during a campaign event. That's certainly brought a personal element to his campaigning, but his messages about crime have resonated so much because every day, there is another horror story to discuss.

"In Kathy Hochul's New York, law-abiding New Yorkers are forced to live in fear," he said Thursday on Twitter. "Come January, in Lee Zeldin's New York, criminals will be the ones forced to live in fear… it's time to take our streets back!"

The lawmaker's message came in response to the assault, rape, and robbery of a 43-year-old woman jogging early Thursday morning in the West Village.

The suspect knocked her down, raped her, and stole her wallet, cellphone, and headphones, "leaving her shoeless and with blood running from her face and elbows," the New York Post reports. 

The suspect is reportedly a homeless man with 25 prior arrests who's wanted in two other recent sexual assaults. 

Rapes, according to NYPD data, are up 16 percent in the city compared to this point last year, but in the area the woman was attacked, they're up 22 percent. 

“It’s terrifying. It’s the worst possible fear I have,” said a 35-year-old Midtown resident out for a run near the scene of the rape later Thursday.

“You generally feel like at 6am it would be a safe time to be out here… I’m ready to get out right now.”

Dog walker Elizabeth Merced, 50, said “anywhere” she goes, she’s “afraid.”

“It’s crazy. It’s scary,” Merced said.

“It’s all over the place. It’s getting worse out here,” she said of the city’s crime rates. (New York Post)

The New York Post's cover of the incident offers Zeldin yet more campaign material and serves to remind residents that they have a very clear choice about the direction New York heads in the future. 

Hochul, meanwhile, appears to change her tune about crime depending on the day. 

"These are master manipulators. They have this conspiracy going all across America trying to convince people in Democratic states that they're not as safe," she said Sunday on Al Sharpton's radio program. 

By Wednesday, however, she acknowledged the problem. 

In an interview on NY1, Hochul admitted maybe Republicans are on to something: "I acknowledge there is a crime issue. It's not new to me because it's election time; I've been working on this throughout my entire time as governor," she said. 

But by Friday, she was back to claiming Republicans are being "dishonest" about crime after CNN's Don Lemon said there's no denying the problem exists. 

Voters will have the final say in just four days. 

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