Andrew Cuomo says Zeldin coming within 5 points of victory ‘a real wake-up call’

Andrew Cuomo
FILE – Former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during a New York Hispanic Clergy Organization meeting on March 17, 2022, in New York. Fourteen months after resigning, the former New York governor is elbowing his way back into the spotlight, launching a podcast and a political action committee in what could be the first steps toward a comeback run for political office. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

Former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said New York Republican gubernatorial nominee Lee Zeldin’s strong, yet unsuccessful performance in Tuesday’s election is a “wake-up call” for Democrats.

“He was a one-issue candidate on crime, and in the parts of the state where crime isn’t really a pressing issue, he didn’t resonate,” Cuomo said during an appearance on WABC 770 AM’s “Cats at Night” radio show with host John Catsimatidis.

“But to come within 5 points — that’s the closest race since George Pataki, I mean, so that is a real wake-up call,” he added. “And it did cost Democrats, it has cost Democrats precious congressional seats.”

Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) — who replaced Cuomo after he resigned last year in the wake of sexual harassment allegations, which Cuomo has denied — won the gubernatorial race, but led Zeldin by just 5.8 percentage points as of Thursday evening in the solidly blue state.

In 2018, Cuomo had won reelection by more than 20 percentage points, with Hochul appearing alongside him on the party’s ticket.

“Zeldin was a rabid pro-lifer … he’s on the wrong side of marriage equality, and he’s on the wrong side of guns…he is a real rabid conservative,” Cuomo told the station. “For him to come within 5 points is incredible.”

Despite Democrats’ stronger-than-expected performance nationally, Republicans flipped multiple House seats in New York, increasing their chances of taking the majority, which has yet to be called.

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (N.Y.), House Democrats’ campaign chief, lost reelection after he switched to another district after new maps were approved. 

Republicans also won multiple close races on Long Island — including Zeldin’s current House seat, for which he did not seek reelection after opting to run for governor instead — while other House races in the state remain too close to call.

Cuomo said the GOP gains shows that Democrats can’t be “crime deniers,” a criticism he levied just prior to Tuesday’s midterms as well.

“There wasn’t a red wave,” Cuomo said on the radio show. “But there was a crime wave.”

Tags 2022 midterms Andrew Cuomo Andrew Cuomo Cats at Night John Catsimatidis John Catsimatidis kathy hochul Kathy Hochul Lee Zeldin Lee Zeldin New York Sean Patrick Maloney

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