Former Vice President Mike Pence was expected to announce his endorsement of Rep. Lee Zeldin as New York governor on Wednesday, days before the Long Island congressman takes on Rudolph W. Giuliani’s son and two other presidential candidates. Republican primary on Tuesday.
Mr. Pence planned to make the endorsement at a reception hosted by the New York State Conservative Party in Manhattan on Wednesday.
His support for Mr. Zeldin comes in the final days of a contentious Republican primary for governor. The four candidates are Mr. Zeldin; Andrew Giuliani, son of Mr. Giuliani, former mayor of New York and former personal attorney to President Donald J. Trump; Harry Wilson, a business turnaround specialist; and Rob Astorino, the former Westchester County manager.
Mr. Pence’s involvement highlights the absence from the race of Mr. Trump, who moved his voter registration from New York to Florida near the end of his term. Two people familiar with the conversations said the eldest, Mr Giuliani, leaned on Mr Trump to endorse his son, but those efforts failed.
Mr. Pence had previously organized a fundraiser for Mr. Zeldin. In recent months, the former vice president has endorsed a string of Republicans, including Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and others whom Mr. Trump had opposed. Mr Zeldin is a staunch Trump supporter who voted against certification of the 2020 election results.
Gerard Kassar, the leader of the New York State Conservative Party, said Mr Pence, whose remarks on Wednesday were to focus on President Biden’s politics, was asked to speak three months ago .