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NY Republican gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin announces pick for lieutenant governor

Long Island Congressman Lee Zeldin and NYPD officer Alison Esposito pic.JPG
Ashley Hupfl
Long Island Congressman Lee Zeldin and NYPD officer Alison Esposito pic.JPG

Long Island Congressman Lee Zeldin, the presumptive Republican nominee for governor, has introduced Alison Esposito as his running mate. She is a New York City Police deputy inspector and commanding officer of the 70th precinct. In New York City Wednesday, Zeldin criticized Governor Kathy Hochul for the rise in crime in the state and nationwide. Zeldin says Esposito will be the first candidate for lieutenant governor who is an active police officer.

"She is a fighter. She has dedicated herself to community. She loves this city and this state," Zeldin said. "Our next lieutenant governor is somebody with so much experience fighting to protect our communities."

Esposito touted her experience in law enforcement and blasted political rhetoric that she says unfairly criticizes police.

"I had no intention of leaving my beloved police department and the scores of dedicated men and women in blue that make up its ranks, but that same creed that had me put on the shield those many years ago now drives me today to begin this new and imperative journey," she said.

In New York, the governor and lieutenant governor run separately in the primary. Republicans gather next week for the state convention.

Zeldin and New York State Conservative Party Chair Gerard Kassar say they expect an unanimous vote for Zeldin as the nominee for governor at party conventions starting this weekend. The Conservative Party gathers Saturday before the state Republicans meet on Long Island Monday.

Zeldin says he is unconcerned that millionaire Republican Harry Wilson is launching a campaign and touted his recent endorsements.

"The New York County Republican Committee just endorsed our candidacy today. Yesterday, the Bronx County Republican Committee endorsed our campaign. We're now up to 60 of 62 county Republican Committees have endorsed our campaign. That represents about 94 percent of the vote. We hope that we are able to get as close to a unanimous vote as possible."

Former Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino and Andrew Giuliani are also running for governor.