New York Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin, who is running for governor of that state, told Newsmax Friday that current Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul's comment that Republicans like Zeldin should leave the state and move to Florida proves she is not willing to represent all the voters.
"I'm not going anywhere. I'm born and raised here in New York," Zeldin said during "American Agenda" Friday. "New York has always been my home. I only left for four years when I was on active duty in the army. I'm raising my family here, and I am going to fight with millions of other New Yorkers who want to save our state."
Hochul made the comment this week while campaigning for Democrat Pat Ryan, who defeated GOP congressional candidate Marc Molinaro in a special election Tuesday, telling the state's estimated 4.5 million Republicans who support Molinaro and Zeldin that they should "jump on a bus for Florida," NY 1 reported.
"My friends, we are fighting for democracy. We’re fighting to bring government back to the people and out of the hands of dictators," Hochul said during the Monday night Democratic rally ahead of Tuesday’s vote, according to a transcript of her speech. "And we're here to say the era of [former President Donald] Trump and Zeldin and Molinaro — just jump on a bus and head down to Florida where you belong. OK? Get outta town. Get outta town. [Because] you don't represent our values. You are not New Yorkers. You're not New Yorkers."
Zeldin, who will face Hochul in November, said her remarks show how little she cares to represent the entirety of the state.
"That's why I'm in this race," Zeldin said. "We are all-in. And really, if you want to be the governor, you have to be willing to be the governor for all New Yorkers. In this country, in this state, if you have a problem with someone who steps up and wants to run against you or people who don't agree with you, you can have a debate; you can have a disagreement. But you don't have the authority to just not represent them and try to toss them out."
Zeldin said that the comment also shows Hochul's "arrogant, power-hungry, elitist" approach to governing the state.
"That is how you end up with people who would say something like this, if that's where they are in the head," he said.
Zeldin also said he wants Congress to see the complete and unredacted version of the affidavit used by the Department of Justice to raid Trump's Mar-a-Lago home in Florida Aug. 8.
A heavily redacted version of the affidavit used to get the federal search warrant for the FBI raid was released to the public Friday, but Zeldin said he thinks members of Congress need to see more.
"This is something that I believe needs maximum transparency," he said. "And what I have found through my time — and I have to read the document first to be able to comment on whatever is blacked out — sometimes something is crossed out that doesn't have to be."
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