Group of Current and Former Democratic Lawmakers Turn on NY Gov. Hochul and Back Her Republican Challenger


As the November elections approach, the New York gubernatorial race is heating up, and some Democrats have crossed the political aisle — as they are unhappy with Gov. Kathy Hochul.

Long Island Rep. Lee Zeldin is Hochul’s Republican opponent, and a group of conservative Democrats is now in his corner, the New York Daily News reported.

On Monday, Zeldin was officially endorsed by a small group of current and former New York lawmakers who have been critics of Hochul, despite her being a Democrat.

Rev. Ruben Diaz Sr., a former member of the New York state Senate and City Council, called Hochul’s leadership a “disaster.”

“The way Gov. Hochul is running the city and the state is a disaster,” Diaz said in a news conference with Zeldin outside of Albany’s City Hall, the Daily News reported.

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Council Member Robert Holden, representing part of Queens, also officially endorsed Zeldin, Fox News reported.

Holden has been especially critical of how Hochul has handled crime in New York, the New York Post reported.

“Just look at the current condition of New York City and New York State: There’s mayhem in our streets, in our courts, in our jails,” Holden said during his endorsement speech.

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“We’re headed in the wrong direction and the policies of this governor have really made this come to a point where this isn’t an option for many voters in New York,” Holden continued, according to the Daily News.

“And as a Democrat, a lifelong Democrat — 50 years as a Democrat — the handwriting is on the wall: Lee Zeldin is the option for voters in New York State.”

Holden and Diaz are also joined in supporting Zeldin by former Brooklyn Assemblyman Dov Hikind.

Apart from this small group, the Brooklyn-based New Era Democrats endorsed Zeldin’s campaign last month, the Daily News reported.

This is not the first Republican candidate the New Era Democrats have had a hand in supporting. Others include Bill DeBlasio, Rudy Giuliani and George Pataki.

Hochul has only been governor since last year when she took former Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s place after he stepped down in the midst of allegations of misconduct.

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In her short time in office, Hochul has made some enemies in the Democratic Party.

However, other Democrats in New York still think that Zeldin is too far right, especially since he has been a vocal supporter of former President Donald Trump.

“Zeldin’s extreme anti-abortion views and dangerous loyalty to Donald Trump make him wrong for New York,” the State Democratic Party chairman Jay Jacobs said in a statement, the Daily News reported.

“The stakes could not be higher for New Yorkers this November,” Jacobs added.

As the election draws nearer, many are carefully watching the polls.

The current polls have been quite varied though.

At the end of August, one poll conducted by SurveyUSA showed that Hochul was 24 points ahead of Zeldin, the Post reported.

However, in another poll conducted by the independent Trafalgar Group from the beginning of September, Zeldin was only 4 percentage points behind Hochul, the Post also reported.

The election is now less than eight weeks away, and both candidates are upping their spending and ad campaigns in these final days, the Daily News reported.

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