By Shawn Ness | September 8, 2022
With New York's gubernatorial election coming up on Nov. 8 The race is between two candidates, Democratic Incumbent Kathy Hochul, and Republican Nominee Lee Zeldin. Both are long time public servants, from opposite ends of the state.
Kathy Hochul, the former Lieutenant Governor under former Gov. Andrew Cuomo, assumed office in August 2021 after Cuomo resigned following a series of sexual assault allegations. Hochul is the first female governor of the state. She graduated from Syracuse University in 1980 with a bachelor's degree in political science, going on to acquire her Juris Doctor from the Catholic University Columbia School of Law in 1984.
After receiving her Juris, she relocated to Washington D.C. and began working for various Congressmen and Senators, providing legal counsel and assistance. She was voted into a vacant seat of the Hamburg Town Board, just south of Buffalo in Erie County, later being reelected to a full term in November 1994 where she served until April 2007. Later that year, she was determined to be the Erie County Clerk after her predecessor stepped down. She ran for reelection in the same position where she received 80% of the vote in November 2010.
From 2011 to 2013, Hochul was a United States House member representing New York’s 26th congressional district. She was a member of the House Armed Services Committee as well as on the Homeland Security Committee, where she would travel to Afghanistan to meet with military leaders, as well as men and women who were stationed in the country at the time. She was then appointed by Gov. Cuomo as his pick for Lieutenant Gov, where she would serve until Cuomo resigned, filling the seat to be Governor of New York. As Lieutenant Gov she was a staunch advocate of the Enough is Enough law designed to prevent sexual assault across campuses according to her website.
As Governor, Hochul extended the eviction moratorium which stopped people from being evicted from their homes during the height of the COVID pandemic. She is a staunch supporter of a woman's right to choose to have an abortion as well as a common sense gun law advocate. She was a supporter of the Affordable Care Act. She has signed a number of laws revolving around guns, including legislation strengthening New York's red flag law, and that would raise the minimum age to buy an assault rifle. As governor, she plans to allocate $10 billion over five years to grow the workforce in health care.
Zeldin graduated from the University at Albany in 2001 with a bachelor's degree in political science, going on to get his Juris Doctor from Albany Law School in 2003. Zeldin then became a second lieutenant in the United States Army after completing the Army Reserve Officers Training Corps where he served until 2007. He was deployed to Tikrit, Iraq with the Army's 82nd Airborne Division. He is now a Lieutenant Colonel in the Army Reserves according to his website. He went on to run for New York State's 3rd district, where he received 57% of the vote beating out Democratic incumbent Brian Foley. He served there until 2014, going on to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives that same year. He is still sitting in the same seat now.
Zeldin has previously voted against the Marriage Equality Act and New York Dream Act, as well as helped create the PFC Joseph Dwyer PTSD Peer-to-Peer Veterans Support program. He was also part of the group of GOP legislators that believed the 2020 election was a hoax, even going as far as being part of a case that would be shown before the Supreme Court, in which he demanded the votes for president in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Georgia and Wisconsin to be thrown out, according to govtrack.us. According to Zeldins website for his gubernatorial campaign, he is opposed to any effort to defund the police and wants to hire more police officers statewide. Similarly, he wants to end all COVID-19 mandates, enact voter ID across the state, and uphold a citizen's right to bear arms.