Democrats are hitting Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin on his relationship with former President Donald Trump as New York’s gubernatorial race heats up heading into the fall.
The ex-commander-in-chief, engaged in a scandal after federal officials seized sensitive and top-secret data from his Florida residence, attended a New Jersey event with Zeldin on Sunday as he sought campaign funds to strengthen his bid to oust Democratic Gov. Chris Hochul.
“Lee Zeldin continues to remain blindly loyal to Donald Trump and do his bidding,” State Democratic Party Chairman Jay Jacobs said.
“Trump’s price for headlining a fundraiser is loyalty at all costs, which Zeldin has offered the disgraced former president since day one,” Jacobs added.
The late Rep. Zeldin, one of the 147 GOP House members who voted to reject the 2020 election results and an early Trump supporter, claimed last week that the recent FBI search of the former president’s Mar-a-Lago residence and resort may have encouraged more Republicans to vote in November.
Zeldin is running against the odds to become the first Republican elected statewide in deep blue New York in almost two decades.
The 42-year-old congressman has made public safety, crime, and bail reform crucial to his campaign as he aims to unseat Hochul, who is running for a full term after succeeding disgraced former governor Andrew Cuomo last summer.
In recent polls, Hochul has held a comfortable double-digit advantage, but she has struggled among suburban and rural voters, who favor Zeldin.
While Trump’s support could provide Zeldin with a much-needed financial lift, as he has trailed Hochul’s fundraising efforts, his ties to the former president could cost him, as the former “Apprentice” star remains highly unpopular among New Yorkers.
According to a Siena College poll released last month, 63% of New York voters disapprove of Trump.
Hochul, meanwhile, has added to her massive campaign war chest, raising more than $34 million since taking over from Cuomo, who resigned amid sexual harassment allegations.