New York Gov. Kathy Hochul this week appeared to back off her earlier style of extreme partisanship, evidently extending an olive branch to conservatives in the state with less than a week before what looks to be a razor-thin midterm election.
Hochul in August had delivered a blistering broadside against prominent Republicans in the state, including her gubernatorial challenger Lee Zeldin, urging them at a campaign event to leave New York and head elsewhere.
“We are here to say that the era of Trump, and Zeldin and Molinaro, just jump on a bus and head down to Florida where you belong, OK?” she said. “Get out of town. Because you do not represent our values. You are not New Yorkers.”
In a Thursday interview with radio host Charlamagne tha God, however, Hochul toned down that rhetoric considerably.
Asked by Charlamagne how she plans to “keep people in New York,” Hochul acknowledged that “people may not want to be here philosophically” but that “we welcome them to stay.”
“People are starting to want to come here from other states, and we embrace them because that’s who we are,” she said. “We’re so fascinatingly diverse. We welcome people from all over, but also we have jobs now that we didn’t have before. So I encourage everyone to stay.”
Hochul’s once-iron lock on the gubernatorial election against Zeldin has become less certain in recent weeks, with RealClearPolitics rating the contest as a “toss-up,” though it projects Hochul will emerge victorious nevertheless.