The 14-month campaign for governor of New York by Long Island Representative Lee Zeldin has been characterized by his affiliations.
His Democratic detractors criticize him for a lengthy history of public friendships with former President Donald Trump starting in 2016. His Republican primary rivals claim he wasn’t consistently near enough and that, as a result of his votes as an Albany state senator, he was former Democratic Governor Andrew “Cuomo’s favorite Republican.”
The outcome of the four-way Republican primary, which Zeldin and state party officials claim he is poised to win, could indicate the significance or insignificance of his links with one or both of New York’s most recent scandal-scarred sons.
Lee Zeldin Is Confident In His Chances
The four-term congressman dismissed a recent Siena College poll indicating that Republicans prefer Andrew Giuliani, a former Trump assistant and the son of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani who has never run for office and has little more than $300,000 in his campaign account.
According to Lee Zeldin, if he didn’t have a clear plan for winning on election day, he wouldn’t have entered the campaign at all.
Even though the situation has changed, Zeldin claims that his playbook hasn’t changed much: Few anticipated a four-way primary after a staggering 85% of the local party leadership supported Zeldin as their candidate in June. Giuliani, businessman Harry Wilson, and former Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino are now all in the race.
Governor Kathy Hochul, who is up for reelection after taking over when Cuomo resigned in August amid sexual harassment charges, was not the opponent the Republicans expected their candidate to face. In the Democratic primary, which is taking place on Tuesday as well, Hochul is currently cruising to a victory.
Lee Zeldin’s early campaign headlines from the previous year were mostly eclipsed by the Cuomo squabble and a fast transition of power. When Zeldin protested the certification of the results of the 2020 presidential election on the House floor following the Capitol revolt on January 6, 2021, it quickly became clear that he was the presumptive Republican candidate for governor.