67% of NY State’s Republican primary voters supported candidates who expressly and repeatedly told voters that Donald Trump was re-elected President in November 2020. Only 13% of Republican primary voters supported Harry Wilson, the successful businessman who told voters the truth about the 2020 election. In appreciation, Mr. Zeldin, the Republican nominee, told Wilson that he did not belong on the debate platform and was really a member of the other party. This madness makes it impossible for Lee Zeldin to win the gubernatorial election in November 2022 and is a scary indictment of one of the two major political parties. Every court which has examined the Trump won claim has dismissed it out of hand. William Barr told Donald Trump straight up that he lost the 2020 election and only those who believe in fantasies embrace this absurd thinking.
On the Democratic side, Governor Hochul won a very resounding victory with nearly 70% of the primary vote. Moreover, she garnered over 600,000 votes in the non-competitive primary, more than all four Republican candidates combined and three times more than Zeldin. Some thought Tom Suozzi could capture a much stronger share of the “moderate Democratic” vote, but he was substantially outpolled by the NY City Public Advocate Javanee Williams who did not campaign due to family health issues.
The November race looks highly uncompetitive as Governor Hochul has succeeded in creating an image of independence from the Cuomo machine, facilitated by her frosty personal relationship with the ex-Governor and her refusal to support him after he was accused of being a serial sexual harasser. Hochul has shown good political judgment in broadening her own agenda. I expect major voting blocs, including the Hasidic leadership, to recognize her insurmountable lead and add to it.
Our state’s Republican Party continues to function as a cheerleading squad for a man who has demonstrated profound narcissistic and totalitarian tendencies and has a very vocal history of misogyny and racism. This is no way forward. The critical question is whether ambitious and still relatively young local Republican office holders like DA Hoovler, County Executive Neuhaus and Assemblymen Schmidt and Brabenec have the courage to repudiate Trump and his craziness. If they do not [and I see no real reason to believe any of them do], they have no viable future in NY State politics. If they do, they can be part of the needed healing process Trump’s profound divisiveness has made a central national priority.
Making these telling primary results more newsworthy, state government is increasingly critical. This Supreme Court is bound and determine to undo prior courts’ protection of fundamental constitutional rights, remanding decisions to the states on what I expect will be a widening range of push-button issues. I trust that voters, realizing the devolution of authority to our state governments, will more avidly participate in this November’s election.
Michael H. Sussman, Esq.
Mr. Sussman was the Green Party candidate for NY State Attorney General in 2018 and helped organize Jimmy Carter’s campaign for President in 1973-74. He lives in Chester.