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Pundit: With polls showing she’s ahead, Governor Kathy Hochul is smart not to take the bait of challenger Lee Zeldin


NEW YORK – Gov. Kathy Hochul uses incumbent power as Republican Lee Zeldin continues to hammer her record.

As CBS2’s Marcia Kramer reported, the governor adopted what has often been called the “rose garden strategy.”

Never underestimate the powers of the holder. Hochul certainly did not. She made full use of her office on Tuesday as she walked into a subway maintenance yard with the MTA chief to talk about new efforts to reduce transit crime.

“What we’re showing is that as traffic goes up, the number and cases of crime go down,” Hochul said.

READ MORE: As attack ad season begins, new poll has Lee Zeldin to take over as governor Kathy Hochul

It was a made-for-TV event by a governor who tried to stay above the political fray and avoid opponent Zeldin’s daily jabs on crime and other burning issues. Instead, the governor, loaded with campaign money, is flooding the airwaves with ads criticizing Zeldin on abortion and his ties to former President Donald Trump.

“He’s been called one of Trump’s strongest allies. As a congressman, he voted to void the presidential election, called the Supreme Court’s decision to ban abortion a good decision “, says an announcement.

READ MORE: Hochul touts success of New York’s new red flag laws as survey shows Zeldin gaining traction

On his side Zeldin keep bashing the governor on the crimedemanding a special session of the Legislature to repeal bail reform and claiming that New Yorkers are leaving the state because they don’t feel safe.

“We need to restore that New York dream to this state. People who can believe the government is there to fight for them. People who believe that those in charge of the state are there to serve the public” , said Zeldin.

It was also endorsed by former Republican Governor Gorge Pataki.

“Albany’s laws are failing and must be changed and there is one person who can change that and that is New York Governor Lee Zeldin said if elected he would change the law without bail for put the safety of the people before the rights of criminals,” Pataki said.

Political consultant Hank Sheinkopf said Hochu’ls Rose Garden’s strategy of not engaging is smart policy.

“It gives her the opportunity to avoid Lee Zeldin and not answer crime questions or other questions where, frankly, she might have a real discussion with a Republican she’s currently beating,” Sheinkopf said.

Zeldin pestered the governor to debate it. She said she would, but time is running out. The election is in less than two months. Zeldin accepted an invitation to debate on CBS2. There was no word from the Hochul team.


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