Near-certain New York Republican gubernatorial nominee and Rep. Lee Zeldin inarguably got a boost from the big gains made by the GOP last week in New York City and its surrounding suburbs.
Moreover, given the show of Republican strength in the overwhelmingly Democrat "Big Apple," sources told Newsmax Democrats may now be less likely to go all-out to defeat freshman Rep. Nicole Malliotakis — the lone GOP House Member in New York City.
Former Democrat Rep. Max Rose is reportedly having second thoughts about a rematch with Malliotakis, who ousted him with 53% of the vote last year.
Republicans went from three to five seats in the 51-Member City Council and may have won a sixth seat. Nearly a week after the counting began in the 43rd District (Bay Ridge), Republican Brian Fox clung to a lead of 255 votes over Democrat Councilman Justin Brannan.
Roughly 3,720 absentee votes remain to be counted.
In Staten Island, former Rep. Vito Fossella won the position of borough president with 61% of the vote. All sides agree this was an incredible comeback, coming 13 years after Fossella’s once-promising career in Congress was ended by an arrest for drunk-driving and revelations that the married lawmaker had a secret family in Washington, D.C.
Roughly 40% of the voters in New York City cast "no" votes on three Democrat-sponsored initiatives that would have made it easier to vote. All three measures went down to defeat statewide.
Republicans also won a hard-fought race for Nassau County executive with County Legislator Bruce Blakeman and contests for district attorney in Nassau and Suffolk Counties.
These wins come at a time when Zeldin has all but nailed down the nomination for governor. In contrast, acting Democrat Gov. Kathy Hochul, who succeeded the disgraced Gov. Andrew Cuomo after his resignation last summer, is sure to face a primary challenge from State Attorney General Letitia James and possibly from outgoing New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.
But not all agree that the picture is rosy for New York Republicans.
David Pietrusza, author of six books on presidential election years and a historian who knows all things New York, told us "Zeldin still faces an 90-degree uphill battle, his circumstances being more akin to New Jersey's than Virginia's — particularly if he faces Hochul or James.
"Republicans across New York State are in a stronger position today, as they are nationwide, but New York's Democratic state legislators will do what they have to do — and want to do — to try to redistrict the GOP out of meaningful existence. This is particularly true regarding U.S. House seats, where their party's fragile lower house majority will be on the line in 2022. Tuesday's Empire State mini-Blue Surge — and it should not be overestimated — may, in fact, only strengthen their resolve."
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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