Following incumbent Governor Kathy Hochul’s projected win during Tuesday’s midterm, Lee Zeldin did not concede as he took the stage telling his supporters “this will get closer.”
Timcast News’ Elad Eliahu attended Zeldin’s election party at Cipriani S.A. in New York, reporting the Republican candidate gave a 10-minute speech following Hochul’s projected win addressing his supporters though did not provide a concession speech.
“There’s over 1.4 million Election Day votes that are still out. It’s gonna be a little frustrating for the members of the media who didn’t want us ever to be in contention,” said Zeldin. “Enjoy the open bar, and enjoy watching the results because what you’re about to see is this will get closer and closer and closer.”
Lee Zeldin addresses his supporters on election night, doesn’t concede
“Enjoy the open bar, and enjoy watching the results because what you’re about to see is this will get closer and closer and closer..” pic.twitter.com/Fba95bFm7W
— Timcast News (@TimcastNews) November 9, 2022
The Republican candidate’s running mate, Lieutenant Governor candidate Alison Esposito, and Republican Senate candidate Joe Pinion mingled with supporters following Zeldin’s speech though declined to comment on their races, according to Eliahu.
As of Wednesday morning, Zeldin has not conceded Hochul’s victory. It is unclear if the Republican candidate intends on contesting the elections in a manner akin to former President Donald Trump during the 2020 Presidential election.
Leading up to Election Day, polling between Zeldin and Hochul tightened with a prospective Zeldin victory being the first New York Republican Governorship since George Pataki in 2006. Zeldin criticized Hochul, 64, and New York Democratic policies, citing a rise in crime specifically in New York City. Hochul, on the other hand, focused her campaign on social issues including abortion.
On the eve of Tuesday’s midterm, Hochul said Zeldin was “hyperventilating” over New York’s rising crime, echoing her debate response with her Republican challenger on Oct. 25.
“We’re halfway through the debate, and [Hochul] still hasn’t talked about locking up anyone committing any crimes,” Zeldin said.
“Anyone who commits a crime under our laws, especially with the change we made to bail, has consequences,” Hochul responded pushing back on Zeldin. “I don’t know why that’s so important to you.”
In August, Hochul said New York Republicans should “jump on a bus and head down to Florida” suggesting they were “not New Yorkers.”
Zeldin has served in the United States House representing New York’s first district since 2015 and previously served in New York’s state senate.
The incumbent Governor’s projected victory marks her first successful gubernatorial campaign after assuming office in August 2021 following former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s departure. Hochul, who previously served as New York’s Lieutenant Governor, came to office amidst Cuomo’s sexual assault scandal in August 2021. Cuomo’s brother, former CNN host Chris Cuomo, was let go from the outlet following his involvement with his brother’s scandal.