Rep. Lee Zeldin, a Staunch Conservative, Will Run for N.Y. Governor

Representative Lee Zeldin, a New York Republican and avid supporter of former President Donald J. Trump, declared on Thursday that he was coming into the 2022 race for governor of New York, hoping to emerge as his get together’s challenger to embattled Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.

“The bottom line is this: To save New York, Andrew Cuomo’s gotta go,” Mr. Zeldin, a staunch conservative who represents elements of Long Island, mentioned in a information launch.

Mr. Cuomo, a third-term Democrat, is within the midst of the best disaster of his political life, going through investigations and accusations of sexual harassment. Many of the state’s Democratic leaders have requested Mr. Cuomo to resign, and whether or not he’ll in the end run for re-election subsequent yr is an open query.

But any Republican, particularly one intently tied to Mr. Trump, would face an awfully uphill battle operating statewide in New York. And there isn’t any doubt about how deeply Mr. Zeldin has embraced Mr. Trump and his politics, together with by voting to overturn the outcomes of the November election, a document that may immediately disqualify him within the eyes of many citizens ought to he make it to a normal election.

Republicans haven’t received a statewide election since 2002, and Democrats outnumber Republicans by greater than two to 1.

But Mr. Zeldin’s candidacy additionally speaks to Mr. Cuomo’s perceived vulnerability: Republican candidates for governor in New York are inclined to have much less political stature, given the challenges of competing statewide.

The congressman has one thing of a nationwide profile and nationwide donor base in Republican circles. He previewed on Thursday how he would search to place himself in a closely Democratic state.

“With one-party Democrat rule in New York City and Albany, the light that once shone as a beacon of what America can be has gone dark,” he mentioned.

“The New York that was once a magnet for the world’s best and brightest is now forcing its own to leave under the crushing weight of skyrocketing taxes, lost jobs, suffocating regulations, and rising crime resulting from dangerously liberal policies.”

In his campaign announcement video, Mr. Zeldin made no point out of Mr. Trump, as a substitute looking for to maintain his message centered on quality-of-life issues and financial issues and lacing into Mr. Cuomo.

. It’s a political background which may be necessary in a Republican main, however one that may be immediately disqualifying within the eyes of many New Yorkers in a normal election, ought to he attain that time.

“He’s a congressman, soldier and family man, fighting to protect our wallets, our safety and our freedoms,” the video says.

Mr. Zeldin might be one in every of no less than three declared or potential Republican candidates interested by operating for governor who will seem in Albany, N.Y., on April 19 to satisfy with Republican county chairs to foyer for their assist.

Others embody Rob Astorino, the get together’s 2014 nominee for governor, and Andrew Giuliani, the son of Rudolph W. Giuliani, the previous New York City mayor and Mr. Trump’s private lawyer.

Mr. Zeldin made his initial announcement on Fox News.

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