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COMMENTARY OF THE DAY
By
Robert Namer
Voice Of America
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September 26, 2022

     Republican nominee Rep. Lee Zeldin called out Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul for dragging her not committing to debate him nearly one month after she agreed to face off at least twice ahead of the Nov. 8 election.  Zeldon must win for the sake of NY.

     “Kathy Hochul has been telling you, members of the media, for weeks that she will debate but she still has not yet said where, when or how many.”  The Long Island congressman says he is eager to spar with the incumbent Democrat in as many as five debate across the state covering issues like rising crime, inflation, state oversight over Yeshivas and population loss.  He accused Hochul of dodging voters even as her party sends out pre-filled absentee ballot applications to registered Democrats across the state. The process is legal under state law, but Republicans have accused Democrats of using “dirty tricks as part of the effort.

     “Kathy Hochul is basically trying to get away with saying that if you elect her, you might find out what her position may be in January. I oppose congestion pricing. Kathy Hochul supports it. Let’s debate it.”  The GOP nominee has accepted two outstanding invitations form CBS2 and PIX11 to debate Hochul on TV. The governor has yet to commit to either. Experts say Hochul is following a “Rose Garden” strategy where she limits engagement with her opponent while leveraging official government events alongside her own campaign ads to reach voters while leaving Zeldin out of the conversation.

     That approach also helps Hochul avoid on-air gaffes that would give his campaign more ammunition for attacks but delaying on debating Zeldin has risks of its own as the GOP bashes her similar to Democrats like U.S. Senate candidate John Fetterman of Pennsylvania who finally committed to a single debate with opponent Dr. Mehmet Oz on Oct. 25.  “Fetterman had a stroke, what could be Gov. Hochul’s excuse?” Councilman Joe Borelli (R-SI), a spokesman for the Pro-Zeldin Save Our State PAC, told The Post.  

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