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NEW YORK (PIX11) — Rep. Lee Zeldin, a leading Republican gubernatorial candidate in New York, considered calling out former Gov. Andrew Cuomo to get him to join the race for governor.

Zeldin, who is leading other GOP candidates in a PIX11 poll, said on Monday his margin of victory would increase if Cuomo entered the race. Cuomo has said he’s open to running again.

“Selfishly, come on in, join the race, are you kidding me? I would love to stand on a debate stage with Andrew Cuomo and Kathy Hochul,” he said, adding, “Selfishly, knowing how Andrew Cuomo is wired, I would sit here and I would dare him to get in, I would double dare him to get in. I would call him a chicken and do everything in my power to get him in this race.”

Still, Zeldin said he doesn’t really want Cuomo in the race. Cuomo’s history of scandals means he doesn’t belong in the world of politics, Zeldin said.

“Unselfishly, Andrew Cuomo should be as far removed from politics as possible,” he said.

Recent polling from PIX11/The Hill/Emerson College shows New York Gov. Kathy Hochul is still poised to be the Democratic nominee, but a close general election is possible if Cuomo enters the race as an independent candidate. The poll found that a generic Democratic candidate and a generic Republican candidate would be in a virtual tie with 33% support each with Cuomo in the race. About 16% would support Cuomo and 18% remain undecided.