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Tags: lee zeldin | kathy hochul | new york | election 2022

Zeldin: 'Will Not Change' New York Abortion Law

By    |   Friday, 14 October 2022 11:27 AM EDT

In a new campaign ad, Republican gubernatorial candidate and staunch anti-abortion supporter Lee Zeldin pledges that he "will not" change New York's abortion law if elected.

Incumbent Democrat Gov. Kathy Hochul and state Democrats have run a torrent of ads for weeks, in an effort to frame Zeldin as a pro-life extremist who would strip a woman of her right to an abortion.

In the new 30-second spot, Zeldin discusses the controversial issue.

"Let me be clear," the Long Island congressman says. "As governor, I will not change and could not change New York's abortion law."

"Hochul already knows that," he continues. "But she tried to deceive you, anyhow, which tells you everything you'll ever need to know about Kathy Hochul."

According to the New York Post, it's the first time Zeldin has used the phrase "I will not" when talking about the state's abortion law. He usually says he couldn't, regardless of his personal stance, because Democrats control the New York Legislature.

Until now, Zeldin's lack of precise language had left an opening for Hochul's campaign to capitalize on the fears of female New York voters and take the focus away from issues like rising crime and state bail reforms that have allowed many repeat offenders to roam the streets unchecked.

The change comes as recent polls have suggested the gap between the candidates is narrowing. On Thursday, a Marist College poll found Zeldin trailing Hochul 44% to 52% among likely voters.

A GOP consultant told the Post that Zeldin was taking a "bold risk" that could tighten the race further.

"It's a risk that has a lot more upside than downside," said William O'Riley, who worked on the last two Republican gubernatorial campaigns in New York.

"I think this is a 2- to 3-point race," O'Riley said. "Zeldin is attempting to take the abortion issue off the table. The abortion law in New York is not going to change."

With pro-choice Democrats firmly in control of the state Legislature, the abortion law in New York was bolstered in 2019, two years before the Supreme Court's reversal of Roe v. Wade, which had established abortion as a federal right.

Hochul's campaign called the Zeldin ad a "flip-flop" and said it was a desperate attempt to distance himself from his pro-life record three weeks before the election.

"Zeldin is desperate because he knows his anti-abortion agenda is disqualifying," Hochul campaign spokesperson Jen Goodman told the Post. "Voters will see right through this pathetic lie and will never vote for a far-right extremist like Lee Zeldin, who celebrated the overturning of Roe and vowed to appoint a pro-life health commissioner."

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In a new campaign ad, Republican gubernatorial candidate and staunch anti-abortion supporter Lee Zeldin pledges that he "will not" change New York's abortion law if elected.
lee zeldin, kathy hochul, new york, election 2022
441
2022-27-14
Friday, 14 October 2022 11:27 AM
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