Zeldin, Hochul Secure Spots On Primary Ballot: The 2022 campaign for governor of New York is underway. 03/19/2022 / Albany Update
Gov. Kathy Hochul is the Democratic Party’s designated candidate for governor this year. The Party selected Gov. Hochul at the New York State Democratic Convention on February 17, 2022, when the Governor amassed 85.6% of the weighted vote. U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-NY3) and New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams are also seeking the Democratic nomination, with Rep. Suozzi running as a moderate problem-solver and Public Advocate Williams running as a progressive with the support of the Working Families Party. Because Rep. Suozzi and Public Advocate Williams did not receive enough votes at the Democratic Convention to get onto the primary ballot, each candidate will try to gain ballot access by obtaining the signatures of 15,000 Democratic voters. As of mid-January, Gov. Hochul had amassed a record-setting $21.6 million in campaign donations.
On March 16, 2022, CNBC reported that former Gov. Andrew Cuomo is also considering running for governor this year. Cuomo began this year with $16 million in his campaign account and has spent $2 million on advertisements in an effort to regain public support. Earlier this month, a poll showed Cuomo trailing Hochul by a narrow 37%-33% margin amongst Democratic voters, with Rep. Suozzi receiving 7% support and Public Advocate Williams receiving 4%. However, the same poll showed that 59% of all New York voters believe that the results of Attorney General Letitia James’s investigation into Cuomo were accurate; in addition, 63% of all New York voters do not believe Cuomo should hold public office again. Recently, when asked whether he would consider creating his own political party line to facilitate a gubernatorial campaign, Cuomo replied: “‘I’ve done it before. My father’s done it before.’”
On the Republican side, U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY1) received the Party’s support for governor on March 1, 2022 at the New York Republican Convention. Eighty-five percent of convention delegates voted for Rep. Zeldin. Former Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino and businessman Harry Wilson each received the support of 7% of delegates, while former White House staffer Andrew Giuliani received the support of less than 1%. Astorino, Giuliani, and Wilson each must gather 15,000 signatures to gain ballot access. As of January 2022, Rep. Zeldin had raised $8.4 million in campaign contributions. On March 14, 2022, Rep. Zeldin’s campaign released the results of a poll showing him leading Gov. Hochul, 45.5%-44%; a poll taken earlier in March showed Gov. Hochul leading Rep. Zeldin, 50%-35%.
If necessary, primary elections for governor will be held on June 28, 2022. In anticipation of those potential primaries, New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms has begun hosting candidate spotlights with candidates who have secured a place on a major party ballot. At our March 15, 2022 Digital Day of Action, NYCF welcomed Rep. Lee Zeldin for an interview; video of that interview is available here. We hope that Gov. Hochul and other potential candidates will also join us for interviews as the campaign continues.