U.S. Representative Lee Zeldin this week continued his now regular criticisms of Governor Andrew Cuomo, though he has yet to indicate what his own political plans are.
After a steadily increasing stream of criticisms and calls for investigations of Mr. Cuomo’s office, Mr. Zeldin announced last week that he was “actively exploring” running for governor himself.
Mr. Zeldin has not responded to requests from The Express News Group for comment, but has offered nearly daily criticisms of the governor on social media and in statements released by his office.
In late February, he called for the U.S. Department of Justice to open an investigation into the governor’s office’s handling of data on nursing home fatalities,which aides said was withheld from state legislators to keep it out of the hands of the Trump administration, fearing it would be used in a politically motivated investigation.
As the allegations of sexual harassment against Mr. Cuomo have mounted in recent weeks, and his own consideration of a state run developed, Mr. Zeldin has shifted his message to demanding that the governor resign from office.
In an op-ed proposal released to newspapers by his office on Monday, the congressman harked to Mr. Cuomo’s past as New York State attorney general, saying that in his former post, Mr. Cuomo would have demanded that a governor facing these scandals resign.
“Whether it’s his fatal nursing home directive, his cover-up of the resulting deaths, or the bullying, abuse, harassment and intimidation of those around him, Andrew Cuomo the Attorney General would use the full power of his voice and office to end Andrew Cuomo the Governor,” Mr. Zeldin said. “No one would be louder in New York calling for a resignation and prosecution.”
Mr. Zeldin would have to choose one race or the other, since both the governor’s seat and his current congressional seat will be on the 2022 ballot. Mr. Zeldin, who began his fourth term in January, has not yet filed an official candidate declaration for the 2022 race with the Federal Election Commission.
But he has already kicked off his congressional reelection campaign’s fundraising efforts, with a “Birthday and Victory Zoom Fundraiser” on February 17, for which he was joined by fellow U.S. Representative Elise Stefanik, an upstate Republican who has also been a fierce critic of Mr. Cuomo. For $1,000, supporters could get access to a Zoom roundtable discussion with the two members of Congress, while a $25 contribution got access to remarks from Mr. Zeldin and Ms. Stefanik.
Messages sent to supporters this month declaring #CuomosGottaGo have included emails with the suffix @ZeldinForNewYork, but links asking for support connect to the Zeldin For Congress website.