Molinaro not running for governor, backs Zeldin

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Dutchess County Executive Marcus Molinaro, podium, announces his support for Rep. Lee Zeldin's run for governor

HYDE PARK – Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro has ended months of speculation by announcing that he would not be challenging Governor Cuomo in the next election.  Molinaro joined with several Republican officeholders at a marina in Hyde Park to throw his support behind Congressman Lee Zeldin, who is attempting to unseat Cuomo in the election next year.

Dutchess County Sheriff Adrian “Butch” Anderson rallied the group Tuesday, saying “We’re sick of being bullied” by Governor Cuomo.

Columbia County Clerk Holly Tanner denounced Cuomo’s policies during the pandemic while endorsing Zeldin.  Tanner kept her offices open during the entire COVID time. “I didn’t follow the executive orders because I felt they didn’t apply to me.”

Speakers including Sheriff Anderson, GOP Chairman Mike McCormack, and County Legislator Will Truitt (R-Hyde Park) all hinted that Molinaro would be running for Congress next year against Congressman Antonio Delgado.  Molinaro has intimated that an announcement would be coming soon.  “I am not a candidate for governor of New York,” he told the audience.  Before introducing Zeldin, Molinaro railed against Cuomo’s actions during the past year, including the nursing home debacle.  “It’s (Cuomo administration) is a criminal syndicate running under the guise of democracy,” claiming Cuomo failed to be truthful about the nursing home scandal because it would have jeopardized his $5 million book deal.

Zeldin announced his gubernatorial candidacy on April 8.  He has been making the rounds throughout New York to garner support for the Republican and Conservative party nominations.  He cited policies that include a workforce that is making too much on benefits to return to work as a plank in his campaign platform.

The Long Island congressman said that he has multiple complaints from business owners that they can’t get employees to fill job openings.  “People are not working because government is paying them to stay home.”  Zeldin said that the calls to raise the minimum wage will not bring people back to work.  “Just because you raise the minimum wage, that doesn’t increase the pot of money that small businesses have available to pay their employees,” adding that increases have led to the closure of small businesses.

Executive Steven Neuhaus has also backed Zeldin. New York needs a governor ready on day one to reverse Andrew Cuomo’s disastrous anti-police agenda, radical bail reform policy, and runaway tax hikes,” he said. “Lee Zeldin has spent his life fighting for New Yorkers and is the only one who can help save our state.”

State Assemblyman Karl Brabenec (R, Deerpark) is also endorsing Zeldin. “Our state is failing in every possible way and in desperate need of good leadership.” Brabenec said Zeldin has “a proven record of accomplishments, excellent leadership skills, and the right vision to make New York.

The Dutchess and Orange Republican committees have also endorsed Zeldin from among a number of potential candidates.