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Tipsheet

More Momentum Comes for Lee Zeldin As He Receives Large Donation From Pro-Eric Adams Group

AP Photo/Julia Nikhinson

As we've been saying for some time now, Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) very much has the momentum going into today's New York gubernatorial race against Gov. Kathy Hochul (D-NY). Twitter seems to be feeling that energy as well, as "Zeldin" was trending on Tuesday afternoon, not in New York, but throughout the whole country.

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As part of the trend is how Gov. Hochul was campaigning with American Federation of Teachers' Randi Weingarten, as Katie covered earlier on Tuesday.

It's not just Hochul's tone-deaf campaign that is looking good for Zeldin, though. The New York Post reported on Monday night that they had learned Striving for a Better New York had made a $10,000 donation to Zeldin's campaign. The group is headed by Rev. Alfred Cockfield II.

From the report:

The support for Zeldin comes from the political action committee Striving for a Better New York, which is headed by Adams pal the Rev. Alfred Cockfield II. 

The $10,000 donation, which was wired to the Zeldin campaign by the group’s treasurer, Carmen Sterling, was posted on the state Board of Election’s website Monday night — just hours before Tuesday’s final Election Day vote. 

Within two weeks of an election, campaign committees are required to report new donations within 24 hours to the state elections board.

The donation will surely raise eyebrows. Cockfield is considered one of Adams’ early supporters and confidantes, sources said.

Adams is backing fellow Democrat Hochul for governor, but political insiders told The Post that the mayor wouldn’t lose sleep if Zeldin wins because the Long Island GOP congressman would be a stronger supporter of the mayor’s crime-fighting agenda, such as an overhaul of the unpopular cashless bail law.

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This is not the only support from Democrats that Zeldin has gotten, as he's gotten endorsements from current and former Democratic state politicians and groups that had previously endorsed Democrats. This is key for Zeldin to have a shot at winning, as the state has double the amount of registered Democrats compared to Republicans. 

The report mentions crime, which has been the main theme of Zeldin's campaign, though it's yet another issue Hochul has been tone-deaf on, even as polls show it's the top issue for New Yorkers. 

Reports from CNN as well as the governor's media appearances on that network and MSNBC further show she's in trouble. A slew of Democrats, including President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and former President Bill Clinton as well as his wife Hillary Clinton had to come to the state to campaign for Hochul. 

Zeldin has hit Hochul hard on her out-of-touch response to crime, which seems to have irked the governor, though she hardly has had a proper response other than to claim her opponent is lying. 

On Saturday, former President Clinton even joked about the crime situation in the state, which has risen, including and especially when it comes to subway crimes. 

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Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (R-GA) also tweeted about Zeldin's momentum, which he believes in part comes from the Republican nominee's endorsements from several Jewish groups. These are also groups that have previously endorsed Democrats. 

Gingrich helped usher in the red wave of 1994, in no small part through the Contract with America that was put together ahead of that midterm election when then President Bill Clinton was in office. Democrats lost 52 seats in the House that year. 

That red wave is also significant to this year's gubernatorial race in New York, as 1994 was when the state's last Republican governor, George Pataki, was first elected after he had his own upset against Mario Cuomo, the father of former Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY), who was trying for his third term. Pataki has endorsed Zeldin and believes that "clearly the momentum is with Zeldin."

Hochul took office once Cuomo's resignation was effective in August of last year. Although he had several scandals under his administration, particularly to do with COVID-19, what did him in was the numerous accusations of sexual harassment. An independent report from Attorney General Letitia James found that the accusations against Cuomo constituted sexual harassment in the workplace in violation of state and federal law. 

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Zeldin, on the other hand, has had to beat an incumbent to win his other offices, including having previously served as a state senator and his current seat in the U.S. House of Representatives for New York's 1st Congressional District. 



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