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Jewish pro-Trump Republican Lee Zeldin announces run for New York governor

Congressman makes move amid nursing home deaths scandal and allegations of sexual harassment against current Governor Andrew Cuomo

US President Donald Trump, right, greets Rep. Lee Zeldin, center, and his wife Diana Zeldin, left, after arriving at Francis S. Gabreski Airport in Westhampton Beach, New York, Aug. 9, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
US President Donald Trump, right, greets Rep. Lee Zeldin, center, and his wife Diana Zeldin, left, after arriving at Francis S. Gabreski Airport in Westhampton Beach, New York, Aug. 9, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

JTA — Rep. Lee Zeldin, one of two Jewish Republicans in Congress and a staunch defender of Donald Trump, is running for governor of New York.

“The bottom line is this: To save New York, Andrew Cuomo’s gotta go,” Zeldin said in a news release Thursday.

Zeldin, a House member from Long Island, handily won reelection in the fall over a Democratic Jewish challenger, despite being abashedly pro-Trump in a state where the former president is extremely unpopular.

Both Zeldin and David Kustoff of Tennessee, the other Jewish House Republican, voted to object to the Electoral College’s presidential vote tally after condemning the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaking at a vaccination site in New York, March 8, 2021. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, Pool, File)

Cuomo, the incumbent governor, is ensnared in a series of scandals — one involving lies about nursing home deaths in New York from COVID-19, as well as several allegations of sexual harassment by former colleagues.

The last Jewish governor of New York was Eliot Spitzer, who held the office between 2007 and 2008 before resigning amid a prostitution scandal.

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