NEW YORK (PIX11) — Republican Congressman Lee Zeldin picked up another endorsement in the race for New York governor Monday, securing the backing of the New York City Correction Officers’ Union, COBA.

Zeldin praised correction officers during the announcement.

“They deserve total support, unapologetic help, unapologetic love from people in government,” he said.

Several polls in recent days have shown Zeldin edging closer to Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul. Democratic strategist Dr. Basil Smikle Jr. believes the governor “should be a little concerned because you need to make a closing argument, we don’t have that much time left.”

Zeldin continues to focus much of his campaign on public safety and crime.

“I will be declaring a crime emergency here in New York, I will be suspending cashless bail,” he said during a PIX11 forum.

Hochul also talked crime during the forum.

“Shootings and murders down, across the nation 2%, New York State they are down 14%, 14% in New York City,” she said. “We are making a real difference in getting the shooting and murder rates down dramatically.”

Saturday, the governor stood with Mayor Eric Adams to roll out more officers in the subways. On Monday morning, Hochul announced the expansion of the state’s red flag laws to report potential threats. 

Smikle believes it’s “not a coincidence that she is starting to talk more crime because that is an issue that has resonated not just here in New York but across the country.”