New York’s Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul recruited former President Barack Obama to campaign for her on the radio this week as polls show that her Republican challenger Rep. Lee Zeldin is within striking distance.
“My friend, Gov. Kathy Hochul, is the best person for the job, hands down,” Obama says in the one-minute radio ad. “Kathy knows how to get things done. She’s a strong leader who has met the moment and fought for you.”
Obama says in the ad that the “stakes could not be higher.”
“She’s a strong leader who has met the moment and fought for you,” Obama adds. “Kathy has strengthened the economy, investing in public safety and getting illegal guns off the streets.”
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Obama urged New Yorkers not to “sit this one out” because “your vote matters.”
The radio ad, less than 2 weeks before New York gubernatorial election, comes as polls show that Republican Lee Zeldin has shrunk Hochul’s lead dramatically and is within just a few points of the incumbent governor.
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New York has not had a Republican governor since George Pataki left office in 2006, and the state voted for President Joe Biden over former President Donald Trump by 23 points.
Zeldin has focused his campaign on surging crime in New York City and Hochul’s support of the state’s controversial bail reform law that political experts say has been a major factor in Hochul’s lead shrinking from 24 points in August to being labeled a “toss up” this month.
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Speaking with reporters on Friday, Hochul referred to herself as an “underdog” in the race despite New York’s deep blue history, her incumbent status and the state’s long track record of Democrat governors.
Obama has been campaigning in several key battleground states, including in Georgia on Friday night where he took shots at Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker, saying that “it seems to me he’s a celebrity who wants to be a politician, and we’ve seen how that goes.”
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Walker, who is currently polling neck and neck with Democrat Sen. Raphael Warnock, dismissed Obama’s comment during a Saturday rally.
“He said I’m a celebrity,” Walker told the Georgia crowd. “He got that one wrong, didn’t he? I’m not a celebrity, I’m a warrior for God. He got something else wrong, too. Remember two years ago he told us to vote for Joe Biden, didn’t he? He got that one wrong, did he not? He’s lost twice to Georgia already, hasn’t he, so I think he probably needs to sit this one out.”