Republican gubernatorial hopeful Andrew Giuliani has attacked rival Lee Zeldin as a clone of the disgraced ex-governor. Andrew Cuomo after accusing the Zeldin camp of trying to keep him out of the general election.
Giuliani, the son of former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who served as a White House adviser to former President Donald Trump, submitted 24,579 signatures to qualify for ballot status.
Fifteen thousand valid signatures from registered Republicans are required to earn a spot on the ballot.
At least 8,776 signatures collected by Giuliani were specifically objected to by the state election committee on Thursday.
“I know Lee Zeldin thought Andrew Cuomo would be a good president. Now he’s playing the Cuomo game on the Election Committee,” Giuliani said Thursday night. “Lee Zeldin loves Andrew Cuomo. Now he’s acting like him.”
Giuliani was referring to an enthusiastic comment Zeldin made about Cuomo — captured on videotape — when Zeldin was state senator in 2011.
“I would honestly say that if you were in the White House right now, our nation would be in a better place today than it is,” Zeldin said of Cuomo at a news conference.
Cuomo has become the GOP’s bogeyman after the three-year Democratic governor resigned last August under threat of impeachment after an investigative report from an attorney general substantiated allegations that he molested or abused several women.
Meanwhile, Giuliani also claimed that John Haggerty, a GOP agent convicted of stealing $750,000 of Mike Bloomberg’s money during Bloomberg’s 2009 re-election campaign, is helping Zeldin.
“These actions make Zeldin unqualified to be governor,” fumed Giuliani.
Public objections were also filed against two other candidates seeking the GOP nomination — former Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, the 2014 GOP nominee for governor, and businessman Harry Wilson, the 2010 Republican nominee for state controller.
This is an indication that specific challenges may also be filed against their petitions.
Wilson collected 36,000 signatures and Astorino more than 20,000.
The state Republican Party nominated Zeldin, a Long Island congressman, as their presumptive appointee, and thus he did not have to collect voter signatures to participate in the ballot.
Like Giuliani, both Astorino and Wilson said Zeldin was trying to stifle competition.
“We don’t do coronations in New York. Nearly 90,000 ordinary Republicans signed petitions for other candidates. @leezeldin’s attempting to disqualify his vote with political/legal threats is Cuomo-style gutter tactics. No wonder considering Lee served 4 years at Albany as Cuomo’s best ally,” Astorino said in one statement posted on twitter.
Wilson tweeted, “@leezeldin tells 80,000 NY Republicans demanding a primary that 300 insiders who picked him know better. We knew this was coming. Why is Lee so scared of a primary? Because he’s ‘the most rejected designee’ in New York GOP history.”
Zeldin’s campaign declined requests for comment.
The leadership of the state Republican Party, which supports Zeldin, said it had no objection to the other candidates, directing the Post to the Zeldin campaign.
Recent polls show Zeldin at the top.
The winner goes up against the Democratic candidate. Incumbent Gov. Kathy Hochul is topping the polls as she faces City Public Counsel Jumaane Wiliams and Long Island Rep. Tom Suozzi in the Democratic primary.
https://nypost.com/2022/04/14/andrew-giuliani-rips-lee-zeldin-as-cuomo-clone-in-ugly-gop-ballot-battle/ Andrew Giuliani Snaps Lee Zeldin As Cuomo Clone In Ugly GOP Election Campaign