Former House Speakeri Nancy Pelosi is blaming Governor Kathy Hochul (D-NY) for the Democratic Party’s failure to retain control of the House of Representatives in the 2022 midterm elections.
Although Democrats fared better than they were expected to in the midterms — and Republicans only squeaked by with a slim majority — Pelosi claimed that Democrats could have kept the majority if Hochul had realized sooner that crime was a key issue with voters in her state.
Pelosi made the case in an interview with Maureen Dowd for The New York Times, arguing that down-ticket Republicans fared better in New York because Hochul had not had longer coattails.
“She said that she believed the Democrats could have held onto the House in November if top New York pols had realized that the key issue in that state was crime,” Dowd explained.
“The governor didn’t realize soon enough where the trouble was,” Pelosi said of Hochul, adding that the issue should have been addressed much sooner.
Hochul took a lot of heat from Republicans — not the least of which was her opponent in the 2022 gubernatorial race, Lee Zeldin (R-NY). In addition to calling Hochul out repeatedly for not addressing the issue, Zeldin found himself at the center of a couple of crime stories that he then used to great effect to bolster his point.
During one campaign stop, Zeldin himself was physically assaulted — however, he and several others were able to subdue his attacker and hold him until police arrived to take him into custody. Zeldin, who was unharmed, resumed his speech on bail reform after the man was taken away — but his attacker’s quick release from jail only served to back up Zeldin’s claims that New York was not doing enough to put violent criminals behind bars and keep them there.
Later in the campaign, a shooting took place just outside Zeldin’s Long Island home — while his teenaged daughters were in the house doing school work.
“After my daughters heard the gunshots and the screaming, they ran upstairs, locked themselves in the bathroom and immediately called 911,” Zeldin explained. “They acted very swiftly and smartly every step of the way and Diana and I are extremely proud of them.”
The shooting was reportedly unrelated to Zeldin personally.