Last day of campaigning for NY gubernatorial primary candidates

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Tuesday, June 28, 2022
Last day of campaigning for NY gubernatorial primary candidates
New York's Primary Election Day is Tuesday, and the candidates were out on the trail late into the evening on Monday for the last day of campaigning. Lucy Yang has more.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- New York's Primary Election Day is Tuesday, and the candidates were out on the trail Monday for the last day of campaigning.

Early voting wrapped up on Sunday.

Gov. Kathy Hochul, who was vaulted into office last fall when Andrew Cuomo resigned amid a sexual harassment scandal, is trying to hold on to her job.

She greeted voters on 125th street in Harlem Monday night.

"We need the strongest Democrat. That Democrat is me," she said.

Hochul, a Democrat from western New York, is facing challenges from New York City's elected public advocate, Jumaane Williams, and Rep. Tom Suozzi, a moderate congressman from Long Island.

Tuesday's elections cover New York's statewide offices and state assembly races, but primary elections for U.S. House seats and the state Senate will be held August 23.

Those elections were delayed because of a redistricting lawsuit that led a court to throw out new political maps.

Hochul, who was Cuomo's lieutenant governor for six years, promised to restore New Yorkers' faith in its government after stepping into the office last summer, but she hit a major stumbling block in April, when her handpicked lieutenant governor was arrested in a federal corruption probe.

Williams, a progressive running to Hochul's left, said Hochul is either "consistently shamefully out of the loop, or shamefully enabling through her inaction."

He brought his own rhythm to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, as he reached out to subway riders for their support.

"New Yorkers, they can feel they're not better off right now," he said. "Whether public safety, the economy, they can feel it. That's because of status quo elected officials."

Suozzi, running to Hochul's right, says she's not being tough enough on crime, suggesting she should have gone further to harden the state's bail law.

"If politicians don't do what the people want, you throw them out of office," Suozzi said.

On the Republican side, Rep. Lee Zeldin is considered the front-runner in a crowded field that features Andrew Giuliani, the son of New York City's former mayor Rudy Giuliani; Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino; and businessman Harry Wilson.

Former Vice President Mike Pence has endorsed Zeldin, who also enjoys the backing of the state GOP and Conservative Party, but Trump has stayed out of the race.

The Democratic candidates hit the trail across New York City over the weekend, highlighting crime and abortion rights.

"We made substantial changes to bail reform just a few months ago," Hochul said. "We made sure hate crimes, especially against Asians are covered. We understand we need more discretion for judges to do the right thing. We made sure violent crimes are now covered. We made very dramatic changes."

Suozzi, a three-term Congressman from Glen Cove, says he wants to fight crime.

"That's my number one issue," he said. "(Hochul) treats it like an afterthought. All the way from fixing bail reform to lifting up kids in troubled schools, I have a 15-point crime and intervention plan. People have so much anxiety. They're afraid to take the subway. Afraid to go back to work."

Williams was a City Council member before being elected Public Advocate.

"Democrats have dropped the ball on so many issues for so long, and that includes Governor Hochul," he said. "Not just nine months as governor, but six years as lieutenant governor. If you want a new New York, a better than what we were, come on and vote Jumaane Williams."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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