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Tipsheet

Even More New York Democrats Endorse Lee Zeldin

Brittainy Newman/Newsday via AP, Pool

It was always going to be a tough battle for a Republican to win in New York's gubernatorial race this November, but it looks like Rep. Lee Zeldin, the party's nominee running against Gov. Kathy Hochul, is doing what needs to be done for him to have a chance. Late last month Zeldin announced the endorsements from the New Era Democrats, as well as Rev. Rubén Díaz, Sr., and former Democratic Assemblyman Dov Hikind. On Tuesday, Zeldin announced in a press release he had also been endorsed by New York City Councilman Robert Holden. 

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Council Holden spoke with Fox News about his endorsement, mentioning that "we can see it on those streets any time you go outside in New York City, there seems to be problems." He specifically mentioned the subways, sharing "my wife won't ride the subway at all, because of the violence that we see and it's gotten out of hand, so all you have to do is look around." Holden, who described himself as "a common sense Democrat," said "I'll endorse Republicans when I think they're better for the job, and certainly Lee Zeldin is better for the job than Kathy Hochul, our current governor."

Holden also criticized "the ridiculous mandates" Hochul imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This has led to steep numbers of residents fleeing to other states, namely Florida, in addition to the increased crime that was brought up once again, with Holden mentioning how very few criminals face jail time. "We're under siege here, and we need help, and we need a governor that will, again, stop the revolving door that we have in our courts now."

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While Holden said he's been told he has "guts" for endorsing Zeldin, he made clear "it's not guts, it's the right thing to do," bringing up once more how "Kathy Hochul did nothing to really remedy this ridiculous bail reform we have here in New York City and New York State."

Another Democrat, Andrew Stein who is a former New York City Council president and state Assembly member, wrote an op-ed for The New York Post explaining his endorsement.

In it he highlighted the crime rates, as well as the amount of people fleeing:

Hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers have left the state, taking billions of dollars in tax revenue with them, putting our state at risk of a fiscal crisis.

Just as serious, and even more visible, there’s demonstrable evidence of the rise in violent crime every day, as well as the absolute failure of law enforcement in our city and state to do anything about it.

Put directly, despite the best efforts of Mayor Eric Adams (whom I supported), the Legislature and a number of prosecutors — including but not limited to Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg — have created a turnstile justice system that’s been singularly responsible for an unprecedented increase in violent crime over the last few years.

We must do something about this.

Accordingly, I am supporting Rep. Lee Zeldin, the Republican nominee for governor, against Gov. Kathy Hochul this November.

The outrageous taxation and anti-business policies Hochul and Democrats in the Legislature imposed have led to the mass exodus of the state’s wealthy residents — and in turn, for this impending economic catastrophe.

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When it comes to the issue of crime that Zeldin and the Democrats endorsing him focus on, the Republican nominee released his television ad focusing on that issue as well.

While forecasters seem sure that Gov. Hochul will win in November, polls show that the race is somewhat tighter than the ratings suggest. Earlier this month, a poll from The Trafalgar Group showed Gov. Hochul with a lead of just 4.4 percent, at 47.8 percent to Zeldin's 43.4 percent. A co/efficient poll from last week similarly shows Hochul with just a 6 point lead, with Hochul having 49 percent support to Zeldin's 43 percent. 

Hochul herself also seems to be running scared, as she still has not agreed to debate Zeldin. She does often tweet about him, though. And, while campaigning last month for Pat Ryan, who ultimately won his special election, the governor invoked Zeldin's name in demanding Republicans leave the state since they "are not New Yorkers."

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The race is now less than two months away. If elected, Zeldin would be New York's first Republican governor since Gov. George Pataki, who was first elected in 1994, which was very much a red wave year. 

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