The ousted New York Democrat blames Kathy Hochul for the ‘catastrophic’ loss

A state senator ousted on Election Day adds his name to the list of defeated Democrats who say a lackluster campaign by Gov. Kathy Hochul has cost her party dearly in races for state legislation and the US House of Representatives.

“It was certainly a combination of [GOP gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin] Firing Republicans and really encouraging people to come out and vote for him, and unfortunately almost no campaign effort from the governor either,” state Senator Elijah Reichlin-Melnick told The Post on Tuesday.

He lost his race by a margin of 52% to 48% to Republican Bill Weber in a district covering most of Rockland County north of New York City.

Whether it was calling voters, knocking on doors, or otherwise using their nearly $50 million war chest to reach voters, the Hochul campaign was simply lacking in action, Reichlin-Melnick added.

He first voiced his grievances about their campaign’s “catastrophic” lack of effort in a widely publicized Twitter thread posted on Monday evening.

Reichlin-Melnick thinks people haven't come out enough to support Hochul.
Elijah Reichlin-Melnick blamed Kathy Hochul for his election loss.

“Senator Elijah is right. The governor’s campaign didn’t help local Democrats, didn’t help him. There is some truth to his complaints,” said political adviser Hank Sheinkopf.

He added that a stronger presence by the governor and her campaign in suburban counties like Rockland might have gone a long way in countering the bail backlash that was propelling Zeldin into the closest gubernatorial race in decades.

“The problem is crime,” Sheinkopf said. “The injured Democrats were in the suburbs. Voters there don’t want the problems of New York City spreading into their communities.”

The comments from Reichlin-Melnick, who was first elected in 2020, follow Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney’s remarks about the lack of gubernatorial tails in his losing race against Republican Michael Lawler, who was among the four GOP challengers who won the Seats throughout the empire changed states.

Hochul narrowly defeated Lee Zeldin on Tuesday.
Reichlin-Melnick blasted Hochul for her lack of crime enforcement.

“The governor is losing double digits [in battleground House districts]. Our candidates must outperform the governor by more than 10 points, often more than 15 points,” Maloney told MSNBC last week.

Hochul beat Zeldin by 53% to 47% in the closest gubernatorial election in decades after leading a “hot mess” campaign in which out-of-state political activists, leaning on their official duties, cavorted around Hochul alongside one easy campaign plan to keep in the headlines.

Reichlin-Melnick said he reached out to her campaign “many times” but “didn’t really get anything accomplished” when it came to Hochul providing him with help ahead of Election Day, which might have also helped her, the loss of a Legislative District President , Joe Biden, to avoid three points in 2020, according to CUNY Mapping Service.

The borough covers most of Rockland County north of New York City.
Reichlin-Melnick lost his race to Republican Bill Weber by a margin of 52% to 48%.
Bill Weber for NYS Senate/Facebook

“When the tip of the ticket is 11 points underwater, it’s really difficult for anyone on the ballot to get support for a crossover,” Reichlin-Melnick told The Post of his narrow loss.

“This is not an attack on the governor. I don’t think she made all of those campaign decisions personally… had the campaign been a better representation of who she is and what she is, I think they would have done a lot better,” he added.

But things might have been different if Hochul, who has amassed a record $50 million war chest, had invested her time and money in the suburbs of New York City, where Republicans were making big gains despite a disappointing national election.

More efforts by Hochul might also have helped Reichlin-Melnick buck the perception in his district, which has a large Orthodox Jewish population, that Democrats were unfairly targeting yeshivas for a lack of secular doctrine.

“Zeldin was at the forefront in that regard,” noted Reichlin-Melnick, who said he’s keeping his political options open after losing in a race he believes with a little more help from the front of the ticket could have won be able.

A spokesman for the Hochul campaign did not respond to a request for comment. The ousted New York Democrat blames Kathy Hochul for the ‘catastrophic’ loss


JACLYN DIAZ is a USTimeToday U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. JACLYN DIAZ joined USTimeToday in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing

Related Articles

Back to top button