GOP Rep. Lee Zeldin urged to run for NY governor amid Cuomo nursing home controversy

What fallout will Gov. Cuomo face from cover-up investigation?

Former Trump DOJ official Ian Prior with insight on ‘Fox & Friends First.’ 

EXCLUSIVE – GOP Rep. Lee Zeldin of New York is being encouraged by influential Republicans to run next year against Gov. Andrew Cuomo when the embattled three-term Democratic governor bids for reelection, Fox News has learned.

“In the last 48 hours a significant number of large donors and influential Republicans have reached out to Lee Zeldin to ask him to take on Cuomo,” a Republican consultant with ties to the congressman told Fox News on Friday.

Zeldin – a four-term congressman who represents the eastern half of New York’s Long Island – has carefully listened to these people who have called him, according to the strategist, who asked to remain anonymous to speak more freely.

While New York is a reliably blue state where Cuomo won reelection to a third term in 2018 by a massive 23-point margin, the governor has been politically wounded by the state’s current nursing home COVID crisis. Cuomo, who last year initially won national praise from Democrats and the media for his efforts battling the coronavirus pandemic, suffered political fallout in recent weeks from revelations that his administration concealed the full extent of nursing home-related deaths during the COVID crisis.

Republican insiders predict that the Empire State’s 2022 gubernatorial showdown will become a national race overnight if the GOP lands a credible candidate to take on Cuomo. Some national Republicans, who feel that Zeldin would have the best chance against Cuomo, are ready to help the congressman if he launches a campaign, a separate GOP source said.

Zeldin, an attorney and officer in the U.S. Army Reserve,  was first elected to the Suffolk County congressional district in 2014. He was a staunch ally and defender of President Trump during his four years in the White House.

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Among other New York Republicans considered potential gubernatorial contenders next year are Reps. Elise Stefanik, a rising star in the party and major Trump supporter who represents a district in the northern part of the state, and Tom Reed, a more moderate congressman who represents a district in the western end of New York.

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