The New York State Republican Party has selected U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin as the endorsed GOP candidate for Governor.  The field of Republican candidates is full, and it is likely, despite the endorsement, that Zeldin will face a primary challenge.

Congressman Lee Zeldin joined WIBX First News with Keeler in the Morning to discuss his candidacy.

Asked about his support Zeldin said, "When I am even in blue counties and when I am with Democrat groups...across this state....everybody's fired up.  People are all being impacted by this personal decision...to leave this state."

Zeldin says that people in New York do not feel safe.  "The energy is all across New York, in all regions, in all walks of life."

Zeldin will need votes from moderate Democrats and Independents if he is going to win. The last Republican who was able to do that was Governor George Pataki in November of 1994. Pataki defeated then Governor Mario Cuomo and he remained in-office until 2006.

Congressman Zeldin refused to denounce President Donald Trump's claim that he was the rightful winner in the election against President t Joe Biden. Since then, Zeldin has said that "President Biden is President of the United States...regardless of whether your candidates come in first or second, we should always be working on ways to...work together."  He says that he said that after the Congressional certification which came late into the night on January 6, 2021.

House Foreign Affairs Committee Examines Trump Administration's Firing Of State Department Inspector General
FILE PHOTO:
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 16: Representative Lee Zeldin, (R-NY) right, speaks during a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on September 16, 2020 in Washington, DC. The hearing is investigating the firing of State Department Inspector General Steve Linick. (Photo by Stefani Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images)
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CNN correspondent Ryan Nobles, who was also on the program, asked Rep. Zeldin where he views more extreme voices in the Republican party.  Zeldin took issue with the question but said, "That's not my style.  You participate in that opportunity...we're not there in the House Chamber to heckle."  He continued, "It's not appropriate for members of Congress..to be participating in a way that makes it difficult for the President to convey what (the President) is trying to convey."

When asked about his choice of a New York City running mate and not choosing an Upstate candidate, Zeldin defended his decision and said that Alison Esposito "is an absolutely outstanding pick...passionate, principled. Esposito is a former New York City Police Officer.

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