Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis takes a jab at NY Gov. Kathy Hochul

A simmering feud between Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and New York Gov. Kathy Hochul simmered Thursday when the conservative arsonist dropped rhetorical bombshells on her filing while she was making donations to her Republican rival, Rep. Lee Zeldin , collected.

“The corrupt, far-left, pro-criminal Andrew Cuomo 2.0, aka Kathy Hochul – recently declared that Lee is no longer a New Yorker because he disagrees with her radical politics. Hochul urged Lee to get on a bus and move to Florida,” the Republican governor’s fundraiser said Thursday afternoon ahead of the Nov. 8 election.

“People are fleeing a place where politicians like Hochul are attacking the wallets, safety, freedom and children’s education of the very people they are supposed to represent,” DeSantis added in the message.

The deepening involvement in the New York governor’s race for DeSantis — who canceled an in-person fundraising appearance with fellow Republican Zeldin last month over an “unforeseen tragedy” involving a member of his security detail — follows several jabs from the Democratic incumbent in recent weeks .

“No surprise that Zeldin rides on the tails of the GOP’s flag-bearer for extremism and attacks on fundamental rights,” Hochul campaign spokesman Jerrel Harvey said of DeSantis’ efforts on behalf of their enemy.

Recent history suggests that in the mind of Democrat Hochul, who has been stabbing him all year, DeSantis has had little trouble buying real estate.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin holds up the Post newspaper as he addresses the press September 6.
Republican gubernatorial candidate and Rep. Lee Zeldin holds up the Post newspaper as he addresses the press September 6.
Robert Mueller

She slammed him in April for smiling while signing a 15-week abortion ban.

In recent weeks, she called DeSantis “overrated” while speaking impromptu at an Aug. 10 Holocaust memorial event.

“Trump and Zeldin and Molinaro — just hop on a bus and go to Florida where you belong. OK? get out of town Because you don’t represent our values,” Hochul said Aug. 22 after Democrat Pat Ryan defeated Republican Marc Molinaro in a special election to Congress.

Hochul also appears to be incriminating DeSantis, who shot her on Aug. 30 by calling her “ridiculous.”

“You have the governor of New York saying all Republicans need to get on a bus and get out of the state and come to Florida,” he told reporters at an independent news conference.

Such comments have contributed to Zeldin’s efforts to portray Hochul as an intolerant and outspoken leader amidst thorny political challenges such as rising crime and inflation.

Using DeSantis to attack Hochul could become a double-edged sword for Zeldin, as her campaign attacks him for being too extreme on issues like abortion, gun rights and his votes against certifying the 2020 election results, experts said.

Republican candidates need to strike a careful balance in New York, considering registered Democrats outnumber their GOP counterparts by about two-to-one.

Kathy Hochul
Hochul recently called DeSantis “overrated.”
Matthew McDermott

“You walk a tightrope in a lot of ways and you have to be smart about it,” political adviser Tom Doherty, who previously worked for Republican New York Gov. George Pataki, told the Post.

But popular right-wing figures like DeSantis and ex-President Donald Trump have been shown to have helped the GOP flag-bearer close a major funding gap against Hochul, which reported $11.7 million in mid-July compared to $1.57 million to have for Zeldin.

“Getting used to a dangerous extremist like DeSantis isn’t going to save Zeldin’s campaign,” Harvey told the Post.

Trump helped Zeldin raise $1.5 million on Sunday, while the fundraiser advertised with DeSantis before its unexpected cancellation raised another $1 million, according to the Zeldin campaign.

“Despite Hochul’s demands, Lee isn’t going anywhere. He stands firm to fight for New York, FIRE Kathy Hochul and save New York before it’s gone forever!” DeSantis said in the new donation email.

“Will you join me today to support Lee’s rescue mission? He will need all of us to make this historic victory possible!” he added. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis takes a jab at NY Gov. Kathy Hochul


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