UTICA, NY - New York Republican Congressman and 2022 Gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin visited Utica this weekend for the first time since announcing his candidacy two weeks ago.
Zeldin, who represents the state's 1st District, which makes up most of Suffolk County on Long Island, dined with State Senator Joe Griffo on Saturday night. He has already been endorsed by 21 GOP county chairs, including Oneida County GOP Chair Pete Sobel. Zelden had breakfast with Sobel on Sunday morning.
Zelden has drawn questions and criticism for his vote to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, and is a staunch ally of former president Donald Trump, backing Trump's baseless claims of election fraud. He is looking to become the first Republican to win statewide office in New York since former governor George Pataki in 2002.
President Joe Biden carried New York in 2020 by 23 percentage points.
Governor Andrew Cuomo intends to run for a fourth term in 2022 amid scandal and malcontent amongst members of his own party. A majority of Democrats in the state legislature have called on him to resign, as he faces numerous claims of sexual assault from former staff members, as well as criticism for his handling of nursing homes during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.
No New York governor has ever been elected to four terms.