New York is generally considered to be a fairly solidly blue state dominated by Democrats, but that could potentially change after the Nov. 8 elections, at least in terms of who will preside in the governor’s office.
New York City Councilmember Robert Holden, a moderate Democrat from Queens, has announced his endorsement of Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) to be the state’s next governor over its current incumbent from his own Democratic Party, Gov. Kathy Hochul (D), Fox News reported.
During an interview this week with Fox News host Neil Cavuto, Holden made it clear that the primary driver behind his decision to cross the party line was the surging crime rates in New York City, or more specifically, the denial and dismissal of legitimate crime concerns by Hochul and other prominent Democrats.
“I’m crossing party lines”
Asked why he had decided to support the GOP candidate Zeldin, Holden replied, “Well, it is absurd what they just said about not seeing crime. We see with our own eyes on the street, we see it when we ride the subways.”
“By the way, I lived through the 80s and 90s in New York City and we saw hard crime then, and we got out of it by using ‘broken windows,’ method of policing,” he continued in reference to the “broken windows” tactic of policing that involves cracking down on small crimes in order to prevent criminals from moving on to more serious crimes, which had been championed by former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R).
“We have to get out of this, and when you have a governor in there right now for 14 months — who should be the Florida realtor of the year, because we have a mass exodus from New York City to Florida, South Carolina, Texas — it’s ridiculous,” Holden said.
“So I’m crossing party lines,” he added. “I’ve been a Democrat for 50 years and I voted Democrat for very many years. But we’re at a point, we’re losing this city, and we’re losing the state.”
New York City Council Member @BobHoldenNYC to Neil: “I’ve been a Democrat for 50 years and I voted Democrat for very many years. But we’re at a point we’re losing this city and we’re losing the state.” pic.twitter.com/ZDegyxuLqB
— Neil Cavuto (@TeamCavuto) November 3, 2022
Numerous reasons to support Zeldin over Hochul
Before Councilmember Holden’s appearance on Fox News, he published an op-ed in the New York Post to announce his support for Zeldin’s gubernatorial candidacy and explained why he could not support Gov. Hochul being elected to a full term as leader of the state — and he predicted that he was not the only Democrat to make such a decision.
In addition to the crime issue, Holden also pointed to other policies embraced or implemented by Hochul that are making the city and state’s problems worse, including with the economy and the environment, as well as illegal immigration, education and COVID vaccine mandates for students, and drug overdose deaths, among other things.
For what it is worth, the RealClearPolitics average of polls currently shows Hochul leading Zeldin by around six points, and even though the race is rated as a “toss-up,” it is projected that Hochul will ultimately hold the governorship.
However, Hochul’s margin over Zeldin appears slim and declining when one considers that she led by more than 11 points in mid-October and by nearly 20 points in July, as well as the fact that her predecessor, disgraced ex-Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), had won his first race in 2014 by more than 13 points and was re-elected in 2018 by more than 22 points over his GOP challenger.