New York’s Lee Zeldin safe following attack at campaign event

Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.) prepares to participate in a Republican gubernatorial debate in June.
Bebeto Matthews/The Associated Press
Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.) prepares to participate in a Republican gubernatorial debate in June.

New York Rep. Lee Zeldin, the Republican nominee for governor, is safe and uninjured following an attempted attack at a campaign event on Thursday night. 

Zeldin’s campaign said in a statement that a man climbed the stage he was on and attempted to stab him during a speech in front of supporters. Zeldin grabbed the man’s wrist to stop him until several others helped take the man to the ground.

The congressman was uninjured, and law enforcement took the suspect into custody, according to the campaign.

Campaign spokeswoman Katie Vincentz said Zeldin and all staff members are all right following the attack.

“Far more must be done to make New York safe again. This is very much getting out of hand in this state. Unfortunately, Congressman Zeldin is just the latest New Yorker whose life has been affected by the out of control crime and violence in New York. This needs to stop! Thankfully, we still have exceptional men and women in law enforcement answering the call to protect our streets.” she said.

The Rochester-based CBS affiliate WROC reported that Zeldin was giving a speech on bail reform when the man got on the stage, yelled, wrestled with him and pulled a blade out.

A video taken by a witness to the attack posted on Twitter by Nick Reisman, a New York state politics reporter for Spectrum News, shows a man slowly walking onto the stage before another man gets on the stage and stands between the two, putting his arm on the attacker’s abdomen. 

The attacker appears to grab Zeldin’s arm as a few other people get on the stage to help Zeldin. One witness yelled “he’s got a knife.”

WROC reported that the suspect was subdued by Joe Chenelly, the national director of American Veterans, a veterans’ service organization.

The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office did not immediately return a request from The Hill for comment. 

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, Zeldin’s Democratic opponent, tweeted that she was “relieved” to hear that Zeldin was not injured and the suspect is in custody. 

Tags 2022 2022 midterms Kathy Hochul Lee Zeldin New York New York New York governor's race violent crime
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