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Zeldin vows he 'will not' change NY abortion law as he closes on Hochul

The Republican is attempting to cut off state Democrats' attacks on his pro-life beliefs in the tight blue-state gubernatorial race.

October 14, 2022 10:17pm

Updated: October 15, 2022 10:35am

Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin, who is running in New York’s increasingly tight race for governor, is attempting to cut off attacks from Democrats that he will take away abortion rights by vowing to preserve the state’s abortion laws if elected.

The new 30-second commercial comes after incumbent Gov. Kathy Hochul and state Democrats have hammered at Zeldin’s pro-life position with ads suggesting he will take away a woman’s right to choose if he wins in next month’s midterm elections, reports the New York Post.

In it, Zeldin accuses Hochul of using abortion to distract New York voters from her record on rising crime, alleged “pay-to-play” corruption and the rising cost of living under the Biden administration, which he supports.

“Let me be clear. As governor, I will not change and could not change New York’s abortion law,” says Zeldin in the TV spot, looking directly into the camera.

“Hochul already knows that. But she tried to deceive you anyhow, which tells you everything you’ll ever need to know about Kathy Hochul.”

Polls in recent weeks have indicated the gubernatorial race is tightening. An independent poll released Friday found that Hochul with 50% support from likely voters to 44% for Zeldin.

“It’s a very competitive race,” said Doug Schoen of Schoen Cooperman Research, who ran the poll. He has served as a pollster for former President Bill Clinton and three-term ex-Mayor Mike Bloomberg, notes the New York Post.

Zeldin’s promise to preserve New York’s abortion rights laws surprise William O’Riley, a Republican consultant who has worked on the last two Republican gubernatorial campaigns.

“I think this is a two- to three-point race,” O’Riley said. “Zeldin is attempting to take the abortion issue off the table. The abortion law in New York is not going to change.”