New York gubernatorial candidates throw punches in final push before Election Day

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ByCeFaan Kim via WABC logo
Monday, October 24, 2022
NY governor candidates throw punches in final push before Election Day
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With just over two weeks until Election Day, the candidates for governor of New York, Hochul and Zeldin, talked the increase in crime. CeFaan Kim has the story.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- With just over two weeks until Election Day, the candidates for governor of New York were busy Monday talking about the increase in crime.

Gov. Kathy Hochul once had a large lead but that has since shrunk and Republican challenger Lee Zeldin picked up a big endorsement.

When it is all boiled down, the campaign for Hochul is highlighting her opponent's ties to former President Donald Trump and his positions on abortion rights and gun safety.

For Lee Zeldin, it is about tying the governor to the rise in crime.

"The state of New York is in a state of unprecedented crisis, fueled by chaos, disorder and lawlessness," said COBA President Benny Boscio.

Boscio announced Monday that the Correction Officers' Benevolent Association was proud to endorse Zeldin for governor.

With the rise in crime as the centerpiece of his campaign for governor, the Republican Long Island congressman went on the offense and scored the endorsement.

"Someone's grabbing a part of your body, that's sexual assault, plain and simple," Zeldin said. "Now we can say alright we need to be politically correct, you can't talk about these things. But this is reality for the people who actually work at Rikers Island right now."

The democratic incumbent for her part talked gun violence in Albany on Monday and announced an expansion of the Red Flag law.

It prevents individuals who show signs of being a threat to themselves or others from purchasing or buying a firearm.

Hochul says the number of extreme risk protection orders has more than doubled as a result of the Buffalo mass shooting.

"We have seen an increase in crime across this country," Hochul said. "So, that's why back in January I said, let's do this, something that no one has ever done before in the entire country."

And in response to a string of headline grabbing acts of violence in recent weeks on the transit system, this weekend the governor committed more MTA police officers to patrol the subway and unveiled a new subway safety plan.

"Cops, cameras, care," Hochul said this weekend. "These are the three Cs and I want to be clear here. This isn't something we started thinking about recently."

"You can call it the day late, dollar short plan," Zeldin said. "You need far more beds, you need far more NYPD officers."

The governor once held a double-digit lead over Zeldin, but several polls in recent week shows that gap narrowing.

On Tuesday, they square off in their one and only debate.

ALSO READ | In their own words: Hochul, Zeldin on the top issues on 'Up Close'

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