NEW YORK CITY (PIX11) — A controversial murder charge and abortion took center stage in the race for New York’s governor Tuesday.
“My first act on day one will be to remove Alvin Bragg as the district attorney here in Manhattan for refusing to do his job,” said Rep. Lee Zeldin, the Republican nominee for governor.
The declaration came at a rally outside the office of the Manhattan district attorney. Zeldin has renewed his attacks on the progressive prosecutor after Bragg charged a bodega worker with murder.
Jose Alba is accused of stabbing Austin Simon to death inside a Hamilton Heights bodega where he worked. Surveillance video shows Simon shoving Alba for declining his girlfriend’s EBT card. When asked about the case Monday, Gov. Kathy Hochul said her job is to support — not interfere with — local authorities.
“These are local governance decisions … I want to focus on the major picture where I have a major role to play,” Hochul said.
The governor focused most of her efforts on ensuring abortion access. She said women have already begun to come to New York for abortions with many states now banning them.
Hochul said $10 million has just gone out to 63 clinics to bolster services and security — with $15 million more coming. Plus, she is looking to recruit abortion providers who can no longer practice in their states, as well as businesses that might want to relocate.
Zeldin opposes abortion, but insists due to the state constitution abortion access would remain largely unchanged if he were to become governor. He called Hochul’s focus on the issue a distraction.
“She is trying to create an issue because she does not want to talk about what all New Yorkers are talking about,” Zeldin said.