WASHINGTON – Representative Lee Zeldin on Thursday announced he is running for New York governor in 2022, becoming the first high-profile Republican to challenge New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Zeldin, 41, who has represented eastern Long Island since 2015, shared his decision on Fox News and posted it on Twitter, claiming that to save his state, “#CuomosGottaGo!”
“I will bring the kind of relentless fighting spirit to help save our state that Cuomo reserves for multi-million dollar self-congratulatory book offers, cover-ups, abuse and personal dealings,” tweeted Zeldin.
“With the Dem rule at a party in New York and Albany, the light that was a beacon of what America can be has gone dark,” continued Zeldin, who said Cuomo is “the head of the fall of New York. “
Leading Democratic lawmakers called on Cuomo to step down last month after several women accused the governor of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior. Cuomo welcomed an investigation into their allegations and has repeatedly said he has never touched anyone inappropriately and will not back down.
Allegations of sexual harassment are being investigated by the New York attorney general’s office and the State Assembly.
Zeldin also criticized Cuomo for his administration’s handling of data on deaths at Covid-19 nursing homes, saying that “his fatal ordering and cover-up in a nursing home is part of a long series of scandals, from lies and harassment. Cuomo has abused the power and trust bestowed upon him and it is time for him to quit the left leg immediately.
In February, the Brooklyn U.S. District Attorney and the FBI opened a preliminary investigation into how the Cuomo administration reported information about the deaths.
Zeldin’s announcement comes a day after Andrew Giuliani, the son of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, said he was considering running for governor as a Republican.
A number of Democrats have also eyed the government offers in light of the allegations against Cuomo; New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, for example, recently refused to rule out a race.