Republican New York Rep. Lee Zeldin beat three others on Tuesday to become the party’s nominee for gubernatorial. He will now face incumbent Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul in November.
With 70% of votes counted, Zeldin held 43.8% support, and runner-up Andrew Giuliani garnered 23.1%. The polls positioned Zeldin as presumptive frontrunner. He closely followed Giuliani, and ex-Obama administration official Harry Wilson. Zeldin received the official backing of New York’s Republican Party and Conservative Parties.
Rep. Lee Zeldin won New York’s GOP governorship primary. His opponent will be Democratic Governor. Kathy Hochul will face Zeldin in November’s election. https://t.co/yQPh5RN4xI
— The Associated Press (@AP) June 29, 2022
Despite months of negative advertising against him, Zeldin maintained a slim lead for much of his campaign, according to several polls. According to the latest data, Giuliani and Zeldin were tied statistically.
Giuliani is the son of Rudy Giuliani (ex-mayor of New York City) and has highlighted his experiences in Trump White House to gain support from base voters. (RELATED: Trump-Backed West Virginia Rep. Alex Mooney Wins Nasty Member-Versus-Member Primary)
“They are a part of who I am, right? I mean I worked for four years for President Trump and I am my father’s son,” Giuliani said in a Bloomberg interview. “For me, I think I’m just going to continue to push the policy platforms that I know will work for all New Yorkers whether or not you voted for Donald Trump, whether or not you voted for Rudy Giuliani or you didn’t.”
Despite voters naming crime and taxation as top issues, the candidates have primarily debated support for former President Donald Trump. During a June 21 debate hosted by Newsmax, Giuliani pivoted away from Zeldin’s comments on crime and instead attacked Zeldin for past comments he made about the former president. Zeldin agreed in 2016 that Trump’s comments about a Mexican-American judge were racist, describing them as “regrettable.”
“This is a guy who a couple of years ago said that President Trump made racist statements and then lied to you last night, ladies and gentlemen. Giuliani stated that Trump is going to “flip and flop.”
Trump didn’t endorse any of these gubernatorial candidates, despite his ties with Giuliani or former Westchester County executive Rob Astorino. Astorino, a longtime friend of the former president, served as an adviser to Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign.
Hochul is considered to be a strong favorite for November. He defeated Rep. Tom Suozzi, and New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams.