CAPITAL REGION – The Schoharie County Republican Committee has endorsed Long Island U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin for governor, county GOP Chairman Assemblyman Chris Tague said Monday.
The Schoharie County Republican committee is the latest GOP committee in the Capital Region to endorse Zeldin, who has moved aggressively to pursue the Republican and Conservative nominations for governor in 2022. Zeldin last Friday said he has secured support from more than half the population-weighted GOP county chairman in the state – in effect, giving him commanding support among Republicans more than 18 months before the election.
County chairpersons from Greene and Columbia counties also endorsed Zeldin on Monday.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo is widely expected to seek re-election to a fourth term despite the scandals swirling around him, though he hasn’t formally made his intentions known. On Monday, he again said that he wouldn’t resign because of the various scandals and allegations made against him in recent months.
Tague said he believes Zeldin, who represents the conservative wing of the Republican Party, will be the candidate best-suited to defeat Cuomo.
“New York needs a champion for working people and families now more than ever, and I am confident Lee Zeldin is the best person to defeat Andrew Cuomo and bring common sense back to Albany,” Tague said. “For years now, Andrew Cuomo has worsened our business climate, driven families and businesses out of the state, stood up for criminals and against law enforcement and public safety, and ignored our constitutional rights.”
Zeldin, who represents the First Congressional District on eastern Long Island, has also been endorsed by Schenectady County Republican Chairman Chris Koetzle, who said he agrees with Zeldin’s approach to government, and by Montgomery County Republicans.
Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro, who ran against Cuomo in 2018, and former Westchester County executive Rob Astorino, who ran in 2014, also have been discussed as possible candidates, and North Country U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik has also shown interest. But Zeldin appears to have secured a sizeable advantage. Zeldin, however, is the only candidate to formally announce he is running for governor.
Zeldin’s campaign said on Friday that he had gotten the backing of the Erie and Niagara county committees, significant counties given their large populations. He has been endorsed by nearly 30 county committees or county chairman, according to his committee. Worth of note, however, is that, with the exception of Herkimer County, the counties represented by Stefanik’s 21st Congressional District haven’t endorsed Zeldin or anyone else; neither have Molinaro and Astorino’s home counties, Dutchess and Westchester.
Zelden, 41, is a Long Island native and Albany Law School graduate who has served in Congress since 2015. Before that he served two terms in the state Senate. He is married, with twin 14-year-old daughters.