Lee Zeldin Casts His Vote in Mastic, Says Victory Depends on NYC

Lee Zeldin and his family before voting in Mastic on Tuesday, November 8, 2022
Lee Zeldin and his family before voting in Mastic on Tuesday
Oliver Peterson

New York State Republican gubernatorial candidate U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) cast his vote for the 2022 midterm elections in his hometown of Mastic in eastern Suffolk County on Tuesday morning.

The outgoing congressman who has represented the East End in New York’s 1st Congressional District since 2015 was joined by his wife and identical twin 16-year-old daughters, and spoke to gathered media moments after likely voting for Republicans across the board — as he was seen demonstrating to one of his kids with a sweep of the hand along one line before filling in the ballot.

“For anyone out there who declares them self to be a proud American, that’s fantastic, but if you’re a proud American, you have to understand this is more than a right you’re given, this is a duty, this is your obligation, this is your responsibility,” Zeldin said, explaining the importance of voting and the democratic process, while also pointing out that he began his campaign for governor 19 months ago to the day.

While describing bipartisanship as the way forward to “save” New York, Zeldin went on to criticize his Democratic opponent, Gov. Kathy Hochul, who became the first woman to lead the state when she stepped in to replace Andrew Cuomo after he resigned under a cloud of scandal in August 2021.

Lee Zeldin votes in Mastic on Election Day 2022
Lee Zeldin votes in Mastic on Election DayOliver Peterson

“We believe this is a campaign truly to save the state, and for Kathy Hochul, she’s been campaigning like this is an effort to save Kathy Hochul,” Zeldin said, later refuting the governor’s claims that he was “hyperventilating” and trying to scare voters when it came to crime. “Our state is at a crossroads, and in order to restore New York to glory, in order to tackle the reason New York leads the entire country in out migration, we all have to work together — Republican, and Democrats and independents. We need to unite as New Yorkers.”

Zeldin pointed out that voters in New York City will make or break the election for him, and if he gets the job, connecting with NYC Mayor Eric Adams would be a top priority.

“I look forward to getting to work,” Zeldin said. “My first phone call tomorrow morning will be to New York City mayor Eric Adams to ask him, what do you need? What support are you not getting from Albany that we can start helping with?”

Lee Zeldin speaks to media outside his polling place in Mastic on Election Day 2022
Lee Zeldin speaks to media outside his polling place in Mastic on Election DayOliver Peterson

Despite Democrats making up 68% of voters in NYC, Zeldin claimed he needs a third of the vote to win in the five boroughs.

“I’m able to guarantee that we win as long as all of our supporters show up. We have enough support out there to win the race, but people have to get to the polls,” he said. “Inside of New York City, we can’t get less than 30%. We get less than 30% of the vote in New York City, we just don’t see how we can win the race. We get 35% or more inside New York City, it becomes very difficult to impossible to lose the race.”

Following more claims about Hochul failing to connect with what New Yorkers really want, Zeldin said, “New Yorkers are hitting a breaking point. They feel like their wallet, their safety, their freedom and the quality of their kids’ education are under attack, and they want to reverse it, and they’re looking at other states like Florida and Texas, the Carolinas, Tennessee and elsewhere, and they feel like if they go there, their money will go farther, they’ll feel safer, they’ll live life freer.”

Zeldin predicted that Republicans would break the supermajority in the state Legislature, and that GOP delegation in the U.S. House of Representatives would grow to double digits after the midterm elections, noting, “We’ll see what the numbers are once the ballots are counted.”

Watch Zeldin’s complete remarks.

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