Primary Preview: Candidates for New York governor

Published: Jun. 24, 2022 at 6:09 PM EDT
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PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. (WCAX) - New Yorkers head to the polls next Tuesday to pick their favorite candidate for governor in the state’s primary. Reporter Kelly O’Brien breaks down what you need to know before heading to the polls.

SUNY Plattsburgh political science Professor Harvey Schantz says this will be a historic primary because of the number of people running -- four republicans and three democrats running for New York’s Highest seat -- an outcome of former Governor Andrew Cuomo’s resignation in disgrace last year. “Perception that the governorship is up for grabs,” Schantz said.

At the first Democratic debate ahead of the primary, Governor Kathy Hochul went up against New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams and New York Congressman Tom Suozzi. They were asked a range of questions including about gun laws, abortion, crypto-mining, term limits, and secondhand marijuana smoke from legal pot.

Hochul was also asked about former lieutenant governor Brian Benjamin and his abrupt resignation after being named in a corruption investigation. “Very disappointing to me that those charges were brought with the information that we had at the time,” she said.

Still, Schantz says she is favored to win. “As we go into the last week of the campaign, the Democrats have a frontrunner and that’s Kathy Hochul,” he said.

On the Republican side, the candidates are New York Congressman Lee Zeldin, former Westchester County executive Rob Astorino, businessman Harry Wilson, and Andrew Guiliani. Rudy’s son and a former member of the Trump administration.

“Lee Zeldin generally has the lead but some polls show Andrew Giuliani is very close,” Schantz said.

During the GOP Debate, the candidates were questioned about gun laws, abortion rights, LGBTQ+ history in schools, vaccination mandates, and inflation. Schantz says Zeldin is the endorsed candidate in the field. “All three candidates are more interested in their own personal ambitions of being governor than of upholding the choice of the Republican Party,” he said.

New York has a closed primary so voters can only vote for their registered party. Click here to find your nearest polling location.

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