New York Democrats select Hochul as governor; The GOP chooses Zeldin | Policy

NEW YORK (AP) — Nine months after taking office as New York governor as a relative unknown, Democrat Kathy Hochul easily locked down her party’s nomination on Tuesday, putting her on track to win the job by november.

Hochul served as an under-the-radar lieutenant governor under the shadow of former Governor Andrew Cuomo until last year, when he resigned amid allegations of sexual harassmentcatapulting her to power.

Hochul on Tuesday brushed off major challenges from elected New York public attorney Jumaane Williams and U.S. Representative Tom Suozzi, a Long Island moderate. She’s now set her sights on becoming the first woman to win the New York Governor’s Office election this fall.

In a nod to the campaign to break down barriers, Hochul delivered an election night speech Tuesday on a stage under a glass ceiling at an event space in Manhattan.

“I am also here because I stand on the shoulders of generations of women, generations of women who have constantly had to come up against this glass ceiling. To the women of New York, this one’s for you,” Hochul said.

Hochul enters the general election campaign with a big advantage, casting himself as the incumbent with a big fundraising advantage in a state that has more than twice as many registered Democrats as Republicans and has no had been a GOP governor for 16 years.

She takes on U.S. Representative Lee Zeldin, who won the Republican Party nomination on Tuesday. Zeldin is a staunch ally of former President Donald Trump and was among the Congressional Republicans who voted against certification of the 2020 election results.

The Long Island congressman will seek to become the first Republican governor elected in New York since the re-election of Governor George Pataki in 2002.

Hochul’s outlook should be even stronger this fall after The U.S. Supreme Court last week overturned Roe v. wade establishing the right to abortion. She has made strengthening the right to abortion a key part of her campaign.

Hochul repeated it in his Tuesday night speech, proclaiming that the state had “taken offense to protect abortion rights” and “let the world know that New York State is a haven for women.” Americans”.

“We have to answer a question,” she said. “Are we going to move New York forward or let the far-right extremist drag our state backward?”

Since taking office in August, Hochul has sought to step out of Cuomo’s shadow, promising a clean break from his administration. She said she was not close to the former governor, who denied any wrongdoing, and was not there to witness any alleged misconduct.

Still, Cuomo’s presence weighed on his campaign early on when he began making public appearances last spring, criticizing Hochul and the Albany Democrats for their approach to crime and suggesting he might run for his old job. Although he suggested he might run as an independent, the former governor ultimately did not file a candidacy.

Zeldin is an Army Reserve Lt. Col. who has represented Eastern Long Island in Congress since 2015.

He overcame major challenges from former Westchester County manager Rob Astorino, businessman Harry Wilson and Andrew Giuliani, the son of former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, who frequently campaigned for his son.

He focused his campaign on increasing crime and criticized Hochul for failing to toughen state bail laws, imposing COVID-19 mitigation warrants and increasing costs. . And though Hochul is looking to project a fresh start from Cuomo, Zeldin has repeatedly referred to the “Cuomo-Hochul administration.”

He will have to win over the state’s independent voters, who outnumber the Republicans, as well as the Democrats in order to win the general election. Democrats should focus on Zeldin’s vocal defense of Trump during his impeachment and objection to the election results. Hochul is also likely to focus on Zeldin’s statements praising the United States Supreme Court’s decision reversing Roe v. Wade and his comment that as governor he would appoint an anti-abortion state health commissioner.

Hochul has focused her campaign on steps she has taken to strengthen abortion rights and moves to toughen state gun laws after a racist shooting in Buffalo.

Suozzi and Williams criticized her for her endorsement ten years ago of the National Rifle Association and on its plan to spend over $1.1 billion in state and county funds for the construction and maintenance of a new stadium for his hometown Buffalo Bills.

She also faced questions about her choice of lieutenant governor, Brian Benjamin, who was arrested for federal corruption in April regarding his campaign funds.

Benjamin pleaded not guilty and denied any wrongdoing. Hochul pointed to the short time she had to choose a No. 2 and said she had been assured that any issues previously raised about Benjamin’s campaign fundraising had been resolved.

Hochul replaced Benjamin with Antonio Delgado, who resigned his congressional seat to accept the role. Delgado, also chosen by Hochul as running mate, won his primary on Tuesday. Zeldin’s running mate, Alison Esposito, is the Republican candidate for lieutenant governor.

Tuesday’s election in New York covered state offices and State Assembly races, but primary elections for U.S. House seats and the state Senate will have take place on August 23. These elections were delayed due to a redistricting lawsuit which led to a court throwing out new political maps.

Associated Press writer Michael R. Sisak in New York contributed to this report.

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