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New York moms, angered by failed Democratic dogma, fuel Zeldin push in state governor race


New York’s fighting moms are lining up their support behind Lee Zeldin as the GOP seeks to support Albany for the first time in 16 years.

“The Democrats pissed off the wrong people — they pissed off the moms,” Jackie Toboroff, a mother of two and former New York City Council candidate, told Fox News Digital.

“We are Muslims, Jews, Christians, black, white, rich and poor. And we are all devastated by what is happening to our schools and our communities,” she also said.

NEW YORK GOVERNMENT. HOCHUL brags about tougher ‘bail laws’ in ad campaign amid tight race with LEE ZELDIN

Zeldin, a U.S. Army Reserve officer and Republican congressman from Long Island, is seeking to unseat Democratic Governor Kathy Hochul in the Nov. 8 election.

Fox News’ latest power rankings put New York’s gubernatorial race as a “likely” Democratic victory – a notable change from earlier, when it was ranked as a “solid” Democratic victory.

New York Council GOP member Inna Vernikov (center, in blue suit) recently helped organize a “Moms for Zeldin” rally for gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin on New York’s Upper West Side .
(Kerry J. Byrne/Fox News Digital)

Hochul, who was never elected to her position, has a 6-point lead in the latest Real Clear Politics average. Some polls, however, cast the race as a statistical dead end. At least one poll puts Zeldin in the lead.

Moms seem to be one of the motivated voting blocs fueling Zeldin’s sudden ascendancy as he seeks to antagonize Hochul in New York.

Fox News 2022 Democracy Power Rankings as of October 25, 2022;  gubernatorial election predictions indicate which way each state can vote.

Fox News 2022 Democracy Power Rankings as of October 25, 2022; gubernatorial election predictions indicate which way each state can vote.
(FoxNews)

Toboroff helped organize a raucous “Moms for Lee Zeldin” sidewalk rally this month on New York’s Upper West Side, one of the bluest sections of the deep blue city.

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A line of influential women from across the city, disillusioned with decades of Democratic dogma that they say is failing families and children, joined the rally outside Anderson School, a public college, to lend their support to the challenger republican.

“Moms are really fed up with the way the Democrats are running the city and the state,” Inna Vernikov, a Ukrainian immigrant and New York City Council member from Brooklyn, told Fox News Digital.

Governor Kathy Hochul, a Democrat, left;  Republican gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin at right.  New York moms are "upset that their streets are not safe," according to Inna Vernikov, a Ukrainian immigrant, who shared her thoughts with Fox News Digital.

Governor Kathy Hochul, a Democrat, left; Republican gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin at right. New York moms are “upset that their streets aren’t safe,” according to Inna Vernikov, a Ukrainian immigrant, who shared her thoughts with Fox News Digital.
(Getty pictures)

“They are upset that their children missed two years of schooling at a very critical time for their development,” Vernikov also said.

“They’re angry with security. They’re upset that their streets aren’t safe. They can’t understand why Hochul refuses to fire woke ADs like [Manhattan District Attorney] Alvin Bragg. They are angry that she panders to the awakened, the progressives and the criminals.”

Vernikov, an attorney who represents a district with a large immigrant population, is already part of a rising tide of the GOP in New York.

She is one of three Republican women to win traditional Democratic City Council seats last year, joined by Vickie Paladino and Joann Ariola, both of Queens.

“Moms are really fed up with the way the Democrats are running the city and the state,” said Inna Vernikov, a Ukrainian immigrant and New York City Council member from Brooklyn.

She took the “Moms for Zeldin” podium earlier this month with Yiatan Chu, an activist for New York’s Chinese communities; Madeline Brame, an African-American mother from Yonkers, New York, whose son, Army veteran Hason Correa, was killed in Harlem and has since become an advocate for law and order in New York; and Zeldin himself.

The moms cited three major issues that fuel their support for the Republican nominee: their children’s education, neighborhood crime, and the emotional and physical well-being of the state’s school children.

Commuters wait on the platform of the Times Square subway station in New York, Wednesday, May 25, 2022.

Commuters wait on the platform of the Times Square subway station in New York, Wednesday, May 25, 2022.
(Stephanie Keith/Bloomberg)

Worries about education are underscored by disturbing new data that shows shocking setbacks for American children in the wake of COVID shutdowns and school closures.

Data released this week by the Nation’s Report Card showed reading scores fell by their biggest margin in 30 years, while math scores fell for the first time in 50 years of testing.

Chu, a lifelong Democrat and mother of two, is driven by the frightening increase in crime in the city. She moved from China to New York at the age of 9 and grew up on the New York subway. So are her children, she says. But not more.

“Subways are too dangerous,” she said.

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Crime data from the New York Police Department shows that his concerns are valid.

Transit crimes are up 41.7% this year compared to 2021, according to the NYPD. Criminal assaults increased by 14.1%, robbery by 33.3%, robbery by 39.9% and reports of rape by 9%, among other year-over-year increases in crime other.

“Crime, education, parents’ right to choose on issues like masking and vaccines – that’s what parents are worried about,” Chu said.

New York City Council Member Inna Vernikov (right) speaks at a press conference sponsored by New York City Council Member Vickie Paladino on support for public sector workers affected by the mandates of Covid-19 vaccine on Tuesday, March 29, 2022, next to the Unisphere in Flushing Meadows Corona Park Queens, New York.

New York City Council Member Inna Vernikov (right) speaks at a press conference sponsored by New York City Council Member Vickie Paladino on support for public sector workers affected by the mandates of Covid-19 vaccine on Tuesday, March 29, 2022, next to the Unisphere in Flushing Meadows Corona Park Queens, New York.
(Barry Williams for NY Daily News via Getty Images)

“A lot of things that creep into progressive schools are things that the state supports, but not a lot of parents,” Chu said.

“Moms who vote for Lee Zeldin want a return to basics in education, math, reading and science. We don’t need political activism or inappropriate classes for our kids,” he said. -she adds.

Chu said she has been following discussions on WeChat, a Chinese-language social media platform, which show that immigrant parents in New York do not support the hard-left educational platform of Hochul and the Democrats.

“We’re a powerful voting bloc. We helped turn the tide for Glenn Youngkin in Virginia. And we’re voting for Lee Zeldin here in New York in November.”

“Moms primarily care about issues that affect their families, their children’s safety, well-being and education,” Vernikov said.

“The Democrats don’t seem to care about these issues.”

As a result, she said, “Lee Zeldin is absolutely going to win. We can’t wait for November 8.”

“Democrats broke education with social justice, low standards and politicized teachers unions,” said Toboroff, a lifelong Manhattan resident.

“Democrats voted in lockstep for shutdowns and masks. Then back-to-school focused just on CRT [critical race theory]making it impossible to resume education.”

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“Democrats have spent too long focusing on fringe identity groups, and in doing so, they have upset a huge group of mothers from all walks of life,” she also said.

“We’re a powerful voting bloc. We helped turn the tide for Glenn Youngkin in Virginia. And we’re voting for Lee Zeldin here in New York in November.”

Fox News’ Remy Numa contributed reporting.

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