Zeldin campaign under investigation for super PAC coordination

Rep. Lee Zeldin, the Republican candidate for governor in New York, is under investigation by the State Board of Elections over allegations that he coordinated with two super PACs supporting his campaign, according to The New York Times.

Michael Johnson, the chief enforcement counsel of the New York State Board of Elections, opened a preliminary investigation into Zeldin’s campaign after the allegations emerged earlier this month, the Times reported.

Johnson is now seeking subpoena authority from the State Board of Elections to compel cooperation with his investigation, according to the Times. 

However, he was stymied when two Republican members of the board unexpectedly missed a business meeting on Tuesday, preventing the board from reaching a quorum to vote on the subpoena issue and likely delaying the issue until after the election, the Times reported.

The Albany Times-Union first reported in mid-October that there were several overlaps between Zeldin’s campaign and two super PACs supporting him — Safe Together New York and Save Our State New York.

Days later, the New York State Democratic Party filed a complaint against Zeldin’s campaign over the alleged coordination. Super PACs are legally allowed to raise and spend unlimited amounts of money to advocate for or against candidates but are barred from coordinating with the candidates they benefit.

Zeldin has closed in on New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) in the final weeks of the campaign, with a recent Quinnipiac University poll showing Hochul holding just a 4-point lead.

The New York State Board of Elections said in a statement that it does not comment on the status of complaints or investigations. Zeldin did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Updated at 5:09 p.m.

Tags 2022 midterm elections kathy hochul Lee Zeldin Lee Zeldin New York New York governor's race Super Pac
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