Four-term Republican Congressman Lee Zeldin announced Thursday he is challenging Gov. Andrew Cuomo next year.
“The bottom line is this; to save New York, Andrew Cuomo’s gotta’ go.”
Zeldin, who also represented the third state Senate district for two terms before he was elected to Congress, is the first big name Republican to announce his candidacy for 2022.
North Country Congresswoman Elise Stefanik may also be considering a run, according to recent news reports.
The State Republican Committee will be interviewing potential gubernatorial candidates during a county chairs meeting next week.
“We’re thrilled that Congressman Zeldin has officially announced his candidacy for governor,” said State GOP Committee Chairman Nick Langworthy. “Lee has served our nation honorably in the military, as a state senator and now in the federal government fighting for common sense policies for hardworking New Yorkers. Lee Zeldin would make an excellent governor.
Zeldin is a native of Suffolk County and earned a law degree from the University at Albany. He served in the U.S. Army, was deployed to Iraq and still serves in the Army Reserve as a lieutenant colonel.
“With one-party Democrat rule in New York City and Albany, the light that once shone as a beacon of what America can be has gone dark,” Zeldin said Thursday in his official announcement. “The New York that was once a magnet for the world’s best and brightest is now forcing its own to leave under the crushing weight of skyrocketing taxes, lost jobs, suffocating regulations, and rising crime resulting from dangerously liberal policies.”
One of only two Jewish Republicans in Congress, Zeldin co-chairs the House Republican Israel Caucus, and serves on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and Financial Services Committee. He also serves on four House subcommittees.
“At the helm of New York’s downfall is Governor Andrew Cuomo, whose disgraceful and deadly nursing home order and cover-up is part of a long line of scandals, lies, and harassment. Cuomo has abused the power and trust granted to him and it is time for him to immediately exit stage left,” Zeldin said Thursday.
“I am ready to go all in on this mission and bring New York back from the brink and return it to glory.
“I will bring the kind of relentless, fighting spirit towards helping to save our state that Andrew Cuomo only reserves for multi-million dollar self-congratulatory book deals, cover-ups, abuse and self-dealing.
“For many, this feels like a last stand to save our state. Losing is not an option.”