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New York Democratic lawmaker backs Zeldin over Hochul, defies party: ‘We don’t feel safe’

New York Democratic lawmaker backs Zeldin over Hochul, defies party: ‘We don’t feel safe’

A New York Democratic lawmaker crossed party lines Thursday to endorse Republican Lee Zeldin for governor over the incumbent Democrat Kathy Hochul.

New York Democratic City Councilman Robert Holden, a moderate from Glendale, Queens, blasted Hochul for the crime crisis ravaging both the city and the state.

“What they just said about not seeing crime is absurd. We see it with our eyes on the street, we see it when we ride the subway, we see it,” Holden said Thursday on “Your World with Neil Cavuto.”

Holden recalled the proverbial bad old days of the 1980s and ’90s in New York, telling Fox News that law enforcement was instrumental in pulling the Big Apple out of its crime-ridden crisis.

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The strategy, spearheaded by Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, focuses on responding to minor offenses such as vandalism and turnpike jumping to prevent more serious crimes.

Bratton once told WABC Radio that the younger generation doesn’t understand the importance of strategy because they didn’t live through that period. Holden wasn’t afraid to give credit to Republicans for cracking down on crime in the Big Apple.

“Rudy Giuliani saved New York City. And I’m a Democrat who says that,” Holden said. “But it was true.”

Holden said a crime under Hochul and other liberal democrats it caused New Yorkers to flee south, something Zeldin also lamented on the campaign trail.

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FILE - This Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2015 file photo shows New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (L) and Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul during a cabinet meeting at the Capitol in Albany, N.Y.

FILE – This Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2015 file photo shows New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (L) and Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul during a cabinet meeting at the Capitol in Albany, N.Y.
(AP Photo/Mike Groll, file)

“[Y]we’ve had a governor there for 14 months who should be agent of the year in Florida because we have a mass exodus from New York to Florida, South Carolina, Texas, it’s ridiculous,” he said.

“I’ve been a Democrat for 50 years and voted Democrat for many years. But we are at one point [where] we are losing this city and we are losing the country.’.

The current composition of the city council is 46 Democrats to 5 Republicans; with both Manhattan and the Bronx lacking GOP representation.

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Congressman Lee Zeldin (C) attends the annual Columbus Day Parade on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.

Congressman Lee Zeldin (C) attends the annual Columbus Day Parade on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.
(Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Lee Zeldin has momentum. We’re seeing people in my district, I think it’s overwhelming,” Holden said, adding that his district is 2-to-1 Democrat but appears to favor the Republican gubernatorial hopeful with 70% support.

“People really need to feel safe. And when we don’t feel safe … people move out, they don’t go to concerts, they don’t go to the movies or they don’t take the subway — and businesses suffer,” he said, comparing it to Hochul is prioritizing the MTA’s congestion pricing — which will charge drivers $23 to enter or cross Manhattan below 60 Street (essentially south of Central Park).

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As a congressman from an out-of-town district, Holden said that puts Hochula largely out of touch with his constituents, who commute to Manhattan for work and pleasure, calling the initiative originally spearheaded by Cuomo a “$23 tax” on Queens residents.

“They said they would put it [the revenue] towards subways, but it’s a lose-lose situation.”



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