EXCLUSIVE – Saying that “to avoid wasting New York, Andrew Cuomo’s gotta go,” Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin on Thursday morning declared his candidacy for governor of the Empire State.
Zeldin turns into the primary Republican to launch a problem towards New York’s embattled three-term Democratic governor, who faces allegations of sexual harassment from 10 feminine accusers, which has triggered an impartial investigation by the state legal professional normal and an impeachment investigation within the State Meeting. Cuomo’s additionally going through a federal probe into the state’s dealing with of COVID deaths at nursing houses amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Zeldin, a staunch ally of former President Trump and a four-term lawmaker who represents the state’s 1st Congressional District within the japanese half of Lengthy Island, made his announcement in a reside interview on “Fox and Associates.”
“I am operating for governor of New York in 2022,” Zeldin mentioned on “Fox & Associates.” “We’re going to win this race.”
He added: “I am all in, we’re all in.”
“We cant get complacent,” Zeldin mentioned, noting that persons are “fleeing” the state amid excessive taxes and the coronavirus pandemic. “Let’s keep right here. Let’s combat. Let’s return New York to its glory.”
“I really like this state. I’m nonetheless right here. We have to flip it round,” Zeldin continued. “Individuals are going to flee each single day till we do.”
In an accompanying launch, the congressman pledged to “carry the type of relentless, combating spirit in the direction of serving to to avoid wasting our state that Andrew Cuomo solely reserves for multi-million greenback self-congratulatory ebook offers, cover-ups, abuse and self-dealing.”
Zeldin blamed “one-party Democrat rule in NYC and Albany” for what he described because the state’s malaise.
“The New York that was as soon as a magnet for the world’s greatest and brightest is now forcing its personal to depart beneath the crushing weight of skyrocketing taxes, misplaced jobs, suffocating laws, and rising crime ensuing from dangerously liberal insurance policies,” Zeldin charged. “On the helm of New York’s downfall is Governor Andrew Cuomo.”
He accused Cuomo of manufacturing “an extended line of scandals, lies, abuse and harassment. Cuomo has abused the facility and belief granted to him and it’s time for him to instantly exit stage left.”
Zeldin, an legal professional and officer within the U.S. Military Reserve, was first elected to the Suffolk County congressional district in 2014. In an interview with Fox Information in the beginning of March, he introduced that “I’m now actively exploring the race for governor.”
The congressman, a robust Trump defender and supporter, met with the previous president final month at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, sources accustomed to the assembly instructed Fox Information this week. The assembly got here as Trump allies have been quietly rallying their assist behind Zeldin, encouraging him in current weeks to launch a gubernatorial marketing campaign, the sources added.
Zeldin’s announcement comes a day after Andrew Giuliani, the son of former New York Metropolis mayor and ex-Trump legal professional Rudy Giuliani, instructed Fox Information that he’s “strongly contemplating” operating for governor.
Giuliani – who served within the Trump administration as a particular assistant to the president and as an affiliate director within the Workplace of Public Liaison on the White Home — mentioned that he’s been fielding calls from donors in current days and weeks, and is “attempting to determine whether or not or not it’s the proper factor to do.”
New York doesn’t have gubernatorial limits, and Cuomo introduced in Could of 2019 that he would run in 2022 for a fourth time period steering the state.
Whereas New York is a reliably blue state the place Cuomo gained reelection to a 3rd time period in 2018 by an enormous 23-point margin, the governor has politically been severely wounded by twin scandals. Cuomo, who final yr initially gained nationwide reward from Democrats and the media for his efforts battling the pandemic, is now going through attainable impeachment in addition to a rising refrain of calls from Republicans in addition to Democrats to resign.
Greater than 135 state lawmakers and practically your complete congressional delegation from New York – together with Senate Majority Chief Chuck Schumer and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand – have urged Cuomo to step down.
Cuomo is resisting these calls to resign as he continues to emphasise that folks ought to wait till the outcomes of the legal professional normal’s investigation earlier than making up their minds and passing judgment. Whereas he has apologized for making some ladies uncomfortable, he is denied that he ever inappropriately touched a lady.
“Girls have a proper to return ahead and be heard and I encourage that absolutely. However I additionally wish to be clear, there may be nonetheless a query of the reality, I didn’t do what has been alleged. Interval,” he mentioned in a press convention a month in the past.
“There are sometimes many motivations for making an allegation and that’s the reason it’s worthwhile to know the info earlier than making a decision,” he added, saying those that are calling for him to resign are being “reckless and harmful.”
The governor and his workplace have additionally pushed again on the nursing house deaths cover-up allegations, denying that nursing house fatality knowledge was altered.