Representative Lee Zeldin (R., N.Y.) announced that he would run for governor of New York in comments on Fox and Friends on Thursday.
“I’m running for governor of New York in 2022,” Zeldin said. “I’m all in, we are all in.”
Zeldin added, “I love this state. I’m still here. We need to turn it around….People are going to flee every single day until we do.”
Zeldin criticized what he termed the “one-party rule” of Democrats in the state, and blamed Governor Andrew Cuomo for the state’s “downfall.”
Zeldin, an attorney and Iraq War veteran, has represented eastern Long Island since 2015. Zeldin is a member of the House Freedom Caucus and was a staunch supporter of President Trump.
The announcement comes as Governor Cuomo faces multiple legal investigations regarding his handling of the coronavirus pandemic in state nursing homes. The FBI is reportedly examining whether Cuomo aides gave false information on coronavirus deaths in nursing homes to the U.S. Justice Department.
An analysis by the Empire Center found that a March 2020 executive order by Cuomo, requiring nursing homes to accept coronavirus patients, may have led to several hundred and possibly over 1,000 additional deaths.
Meanwhile, nine women have accused the governor of sexual harassment. Two of those women provided photographs of the alleged instances of harassment, one of which depicts the governor kissing and grabbing the face of an upstate New York resident.