Oct 16, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Trump endorses Zeldin in New York governor's race

U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) participates in the annual Columbus Day Parade, the largest in the country, on October 10, 2022 in New York City.

U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin participates in the annual Columbus Day Parade on Oct. 10 in New York City. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Former President Trump on Sunday formally endorsed New York Republican gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin (R) in the race against Gov. Kathy Hochul (D).

Why it matters: Trump's endorsement is a sign that the former president believes the GOP congressman may be able to pull off an upset — and wants to be able to claim some degree of credit if he does.

  • Zeldin, an ally of the former president, attended a high-profile fundraiser hosted by Trump last month and has turned to him for campaign funds, the New York Times reports.

What he's saying: "I have watched and known Congressman Lee Zeldin for many years. He is a great and brilliant lawyer who was a “must see” for others in Congress when they had a complex legal problem that was holding up legislation," Trump wrote Sunday on his Truth Social account.

  • "Lee was strong on the Border, Crime, our great Military & Vets (like few others!), and fought hard to protect our 2nd Amendment, and succeeded."
  • "He will be a GREAT Governor of New York, and has my Complete & Total Endorsement. GOOD LUCK LEE!"

State of play: A Marist College poll of registered voters out last week showed Hochul leading Zeldin by 10%, but Republicans are hopeful that it's a sign that the governor's race is tightening, the New York Times reports.

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