Zeldin is GOP's 'presumed nominee' against Cuomo after straw poll of county leaders

Lee Zeldin speaks at a news conference held on Capitol Hill. Jacquelyn Martin/AP Photo Zeldin is GOP's 'presumed nominee' against Cuomo after straw poll of county leadersCOLONIE (N.Y.) The New York Republicans have officially nominated U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin from Long Island's Suffolk County as their choice to run for governor next Year. Andrew Cuomo could be running for a fourth term.In a straw poll, Zeldin received 85 percent of the weighted votes. It was taken at a meeting of county leaders located in a suburb in Albany. Nick Langworthy, the chair of the state party, said Zeldin would now be the presumed nominee. This will give him approximately 17 months to gather support and donors for 2022's general election.However, Zeldin's support was not enough to deter other GOP hopefuls like Andrew Giuliani. This suggests that Zeldin could face a primary in June.Zeldin stated that he feels confident that he has created an operation strong enough for him to face a challenge by other Republicans in a primary or from Democrats in general election. According to Zeldin, a 41 year-old veteran of Iraq, and a lieutenant colonel with the Army Reserve, the rule of fire supremacy is in the military.He said that the political equivalent for me was to fire 50,000 back. To ensure we win the race on November 8, 2022, I assembled a coalition consisting of tens and thousands of people. He said that any enrollments or anything that stands in the way of us moving forward between now and November 8, 2022 will be overcome.Langworthy stated that Lee has earned this. There are some candidates who speculate that there was back-door [dealing] but it was a front door campaign. Because Lee Zeldin has been zigzaging through this state at an incredible pace, it was definitely a front-door election.Langworthy said for years that Cuomo's formidable challenge would only be possible if there is a united front around one candidate. At least three candidates indicated that they would continue to pitch the states 2.9million registered Republican voters. They are eager to seize the moment when the Democratic incumbent is facing scandals and an investigation by the State Attorney General.Giuliani, Rudy Giuliani's son and former New York City mayor, stated that he thinks this is too soon. If you look at the numbers, you will see that we perform better when there is a primary.Giuliani is a former Trump aide and has never run for office. His high-profile father, who is currently under federal investigation, stated that he believes he has greater crossover support than Zeldin. This is a necessity in a state where there are about 6.7million registered Democrats and 3 million in no party.Rob Astorino was the former Westchester County Executive who lost to Cuomo last year but hopes for a rematch next. He called the vote meaningless and released a statement. He was on a trip to celebrate his 20th marriage anniversary and wasn't present at the event. Astorinos' home county gave him 5% of the weighted votes. A handful of counties abstained from the weighted vote, giving them ten percent. The weighted vote was split evenly between the two candidates.New York's 3 million Republicans will decide who the strongest candidate in the June primary. Not a few dozen party insiders.Lewis County Sheriff Michael Carpinelli was the first to challenge Cuomo. He also stated that he would continue his campaign. Queens businessman Derrick Gibson stated that he has not yet made that decision.Langworthy acknowledged the right of the other candidates to pursue their campaigns but said that it could be dependent on their ability to continue to raise funds and on if they can get the support they need through the petitioning process in order to get on the primary ballot. This is a difficult task in New York.Langworthy said that party officials and donors have informed him they don’t want a primary. With all the money and energy it could consume, he stated. Langworthy stated that donors and party activists have figured out, as well as candidates, that primary elections in states with low enrollments will only put them in a position to waste resources.Republicans are focusing their attention on the rising crime in Brooklyn and Buffalo, as well as high taxes that they claim are driving New Yorkers away from the state. They blame Democratic control over the governor's office, both legislative chambers, for pushing policies that they don't believe the majority of New Yorkers support. Langworthy stated that he believes Cuomo would be the Democratic candidate next election, despite the many scandals he is facing.In their messaging, the GOP candidates are just as dependent on Cuomos precarious position as they are on the notion that he has been in power for too long. Zeldin stated that he supports term limits for governors, even if it doesn't happen during his hypothetical tenure. However, he wouldn't attempt to serve more than two terms.During an April event, Zeldin stated that his campaign had raised $2.5million in the first 10 days. However, he declined to add to these totals Monday. Campaign finance filings must be submitted by July 15. He said that he found out that the two waitresses who worked the Long Island fundraiser had donated $25 and $19.He said that there have been many people who have helped us, and more who will support us in this campaign. However, I can tell you that nothing is more important to me than receiving $19 cash donations from a waitress. This speaks volumes about where we are now and where we are headed.One of his primary opponents may have a different strategy for building a war fund. But Carpinelli, the Lewis County sheriff said that his campaign manager would kick me in the seat because he said this.When asked about his fundraising abilities, he stated that he was sick and tired with the New York way things are done. Today, people are trying to recover from this pandemic. They lost their jobs, they don't have any jobs anymore, they want to get them back. It is a horrible thing. It's the people's generosity that is the most important thing. I'm not going to ask."