LI Rep. Zeldin exploring run for governor in 2022

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Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., right, with ranking member Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., speaks to witnesses during a House Committee on the Judiciary‚ Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship and Committee on Foreign Affairs, Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations joint hearing on the administration’s ‘Muslim ban’ on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

As New York Andrew Cuomo faces scandal after scandal in 2021, a Congressman from New York is exploring a run to replace him.

Rep. Lee Zeldin, a Republican who represents Eastern Long Island in Washington, publicly stated that he’s exploring a run for governor of the Empire State in 2022. He confirmed the news in a tweet Tuesday.

“With his nursing home cover-up & abuse coming more to light, it’s clear #CuomosGottaGo,” he wrote. “As a NYer, I can’t sit back as Cuomo attacks our freedoms, our wallets & our safety. After many msgs [sic] of encouragement & discussing w/ my fam[ily], I’m actively exploring a 2022 run for Gov[ernor] of NY.”

Zeldin, a former attorney for the Port Authority, first ran for Congress in 2008, challenging then-incumbent Tom Bishop and losing by 16 points. In 2010, he began two terms in the state senate out of District 3.

He then ran against Bishop again in 2014, defeating him by four points. He’s remained in Congress since, winning his most recent election by nine points in a district Donald Trump only won by four.

Cuomo has said in the past he plans to run for a fourth term in 2022, but of late, scandals about a cover-up of nursing home deaths during the pandemic and a string of sexual harassment allegations has made his position look increasingly tenuous.

In a Nexstar New York poll released Tuesday that saw New Yorkers approve of fellow Democrat President Joe Biden’s job performance by 20 points, Cuomo is a minus-7 net approval rating.

The last Republican to win statewide in New York was George Pataki in 2002. He’s the only member of the GOP to hold the governor’s office since 1975 and the only Republican to win a statewide election in New York since 1992.

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