An Overview of New York’s Candidates for Governor


On Oct. 12, 2022, 50 students on the Ammerman campus were asked their views on New York State’s midterm election nominees Kathy Hochul and Lee Zeldin.

Peter Nicolino II, Staff Writer

On Nov. 8, New York will elect the 58th governor in the history of the state. After the resignation of Andrew Cuomo on Aug. 24, 2021, Democrat Kathy Hochul assumed the position of interim governor, a position she will hold until elections in November. Hochul hopes to be elected governor and to continue to hold the position until 2026. 

Hochul’s opposition is Republican 1st district Congressman Lee Zeldin. New York has elected a Democratic Governor since 2007, with the last Republican to win the seat George Pataki in 1995 and held the position for 12 consecutive years, until 2006. Trends have predicted a win by Hochul, but the margin of victory has decreased as the election date nears closer.

Kathy Hochul was born in Buffalo, New York, where she was one of six children in a household hosting underprivileged children. In 1980, Hochul graduated from Syracuse University and later got a law degree in 1983 from Catholic University. Hochul began her public service career on her hometown Town Board before serving as Erie County Clerk, before serving as a member of Congress, representing New York City’s 26th Congressional District. During her time as Lieutenant Governor, Hochul has helped to establish the “Enough is Enough” law to further prevent sexual assaults on college campuses, spearheaded the State’s Paid Family Leave program, fought to eliminate the wage gap, expanded access to affordable child care, and combated workplace harassment and discrimination. After taking over for Cuomo, she became the first female governor of New York and the 57th governor of New York State.

Hochul believes abortion and gun violence are major concerns for New Yorkers and has focused her platform to reflect those beliefs. 

Originally from Suffolk County, New York, Congressman Lee Zeldin graduated from William Floyd High School in Mastic Beach. After graduating from the State University of New York at Albany and Albany Law School, Zeldin became the youngest attorney in New York at the time. Zeldin served in the military intelligence program until 2008 when he opened a law practice in Smithtown, and his successful operation ended when he was elected to the New York State Senate in 2010. After four years in the State Senate, Congressman Zeldin was elected to the US House of Representatives, representing the First Congressional District of New York. 

In the House of Representatives, Congressman Zeldin is a member of two committees: the Financial Services Committee and the Foreign Affairs Committee, serving as the Ranking Member of the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee. The crime epidemic and inflation are at the forefront of Zeldin’s campaign, as he vows to pass legislation that will be tougher on crime and reduce spending on programs that do not need large amounts of funding. 

When asked about their views on the midterm election nominees, 50 Suffolk students on the Ammerman campus preferred Hochul at 66.6% of votes, with 33.3% of votes going to Zeldin. Suffolk students’ polling was similar to the rest of the state: According to Politico, as of Oct. 11, New York trends have 52.4% of voters choosing Hochul and 38.4% of voters choosing Zeldin. New York has trended at voting for Democrats for many years and the trend continues as strong as ever this year. This Hochul lead has dwindled over time but the projections do not seem to give Zeldin enough to win by Nov. 8. There are always unforeseen variables in politics however as no election ever really runs smoothly. Only time will tell the outcome of this race and you can be a part of it by visiting your local voting site on Nov. 8.