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Hochul, Zeldin trade jabs in first and only debate

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NEW YORK – The two candidates for New York governor had their first and only debate before election day, and they clashed over a number of hot button issues. 

As CBS2’s Zinnia Maldonado reports, crime dominated Tuesday night’s debate between New York Gov. Kathy Hochul and Republican challenger Lee Zeldin. 

Hochul says Zeldin wants to keep the people of New York scared instead of safe. 

“There is no crime-fighting plan if it doesn’t include guns, illegal guns, and you refuse to talk about how we can do so much more. You didn’t even show up for votes in Washington when a bipartisan group of enlightened legislators voted for an assault weapon ban,” Hochul said.  

Zeldin’s response? Stating Hochul remains too focused on crimes committed with guns. 

“It’s amazing that we’re going to be able to go through the entire crime conversation of this debate and we’re still waiting for Kathy Hochul to talk about actually locking up criminals,” Zeldin said. “You got people who are afraid of being pushed in front of oncoming subway cars. They’re being stabbed, beaten to death on the street with hammers.”  

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Abortion was another big topic. Hochul said a vote for Zeldin could mean a vote against a woman’s right to choose. 

“There’s very few people in Congress who have a more pro-life record, someone who said he would bring on a pro-life health commissioner. You know how much power that person has over over decisions on regulations? They could literally use their power to shut down clinics. So that is a frightening spectacle. Women need to know that that’s on the ballot this November as well,” Hochul said. 

But Zeldin vowed he would not seek to unilaterally change the state’s strict abortion protections. 

“A few years back, New York codified far more than Roe. When we woke up the day after the Dobbs decision, the law in New York was exactly the same as it was the day before. And I’m not going to change that,” Zeldin said. 

The Long Island congressman declared the state of New York is in crisis under Hochul’s leadership. 

“If you’re tired of soaring crime, DAs that let violent criminals out on the street to roam free, crushing taxes and skyrocketing costs, New Yorkers struggling to feed their families and heat their homes. The reality is, for you, you deserve better,” Zeldin said. 

Meanwhile, Hochul says her job as governor isn’t over just yet. 

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“Every single day, I wake up thinking about how I can fight harder for you and your families, to invest in education for your kids, give you more childcare opportunities so you can get back to your jobs. Also, keep more money in your pockets with middle class tax cuts and property tax rebates, but very much focused on public safety and getting more and more illegal guns off the streets,” Hochul said. 

Early voting starts across the state this Saturday. Election Day is Nov. 8. 

Source: CBS

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