Midterm elections are 1 week away as race for NY governor heats up

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Tuesday, November 1, 2022
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Candidates running for office are entering the home stretch as we inch closer to Election Day and the race tightens. N.J. Burkett has the story.

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- All eyes are on the New York governor race as midterm elections are just one week away.

Republicans are pushing crime and making advances in a state where Democrats outnumber them more than 2 to 1.

On Tuesday, there was an arrest in the shooting outside the Long Island home of Congressman Lee Zeldin.

The gubernatorial candidate was not targeted, but he is discussing it on the campaign trail. It was an opportunity Zeldin could not pass up.

An 18 year-old was arrested in connection with last month's drive-by shooting that wounded two other teens outside the congressman's Long Island home.

The time and place was a total coincidence. But for Zeldin, the arrest was yet another chance to talk about crime.

"If I, as a four-term congressman running for governor, can have this happen in my front yard, it can happen to anybody," Zeldin said.

The Zeldin campaign is increasingly focused on that singular issue. His latest TV ad features the family of a woman murdered in Upstate New York.

Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul actually brokered last-minute changes to toughen bail reform laws.

"To make sure that repeat offenders are covered and that other crimes are covered," Hochul said.

And she has added more resources to fight subway crime. But her campaign has focused on other issues, like linking Zeldin to former President Donald Trump.

"I think she, in large part, missed the gravity of the moment and how people are living their lives," said ABC News Political Director Rick Klein. "And I think she's gotten that message and is trying to turn that around. But the reason that Lee Zeldin has made this close is that people just flat feel unsafe; They're worried."

Both candidates are campaigning alongside big party names. Zeldin is with the last Republican New York governor, George Pataki, and Hochul is with former President Barack Obama.

Zeldin says he's gaining support from people who are tired of crime, regardless of political affiliation. But Hochul says she's the one gaining votes from those who disagree with her opponent.

Hochul once led Zeldin by more than 20 points. Now, according to some polls, the race is almost dead-even with election night exactly one week away.

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

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