- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 8, 2021

Rep. Lee Zeldin, New York Republican, announced Thursday that he will run for governor against Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo, pointing to scandals, rising taxes and crime that he said are causing residents to take flight.

“Everyone’s frustrated. You want to do something about it while people flee. Let’s stay here. Let’s fight. Let’s return New York to its glory,” said Mr. Zeldin on “Fox & Friends.” “We absolutely have to. People are fleeing.”

He also cited the scandals that have dogged Mr. Cuomo, starting with his order last year to return novel coronavirus-positive patients to nursing homes and allegations of sexual harassment by numerous women, including former and current staffers.

“Listen, on so many different levels, everyone is coming to the conclusion — whether you’re Republican, Democrat, anywhere in between — that this guy has been there too long. It’s time to go,” Mr. Zeldin said.

The election will be held in November 2022.

An Iraq War veteran, Mr. Zeldin, 41, was elected to Congress in 2014 after serving in the state Senate, one of a dwindling number of Republicans in a state increasingly dominated by Democrats. The GOP lost control of the state Senate in the 2018 election.

“This is the first time in my entire life that we have had one-party Democratic rule in New York City, Albany, and D.C., and they’re all doing their part to destroy their levels of government,” Mr. Zeldin said. “We can’t get complacent.”

Mr. Cuomo, 63, the subject of multiple legal investigations into his handling of nursing homes during the pandemic, has served three terms as governor in New York, which does not have gubernatorial term limits.

The governor has denied the sexual-harassment allegations and insisted that his administration did not undercount nursing-home deaths.

With Mr. Cuomo hobbled, the 2022 gubernatorial race has gone from being a sure thing to a free-for-all expected to attract a crowded field of top names.

Among the Democrats being mentioned as possible contenders are Attorney General Letitia James, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and tech entrepreneur Andrew Yang.

Andrew Giuliani, son of former New York City Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, told the Washington Examiner’s Paul Bedard in a Wednesday interview that he plans to run for governor.

• Valerie Richardson can be reached at vrichardson@washingtontimes.com.

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