State Sen. Joe Griffo on Tuesday called for increasing security and protection around major party gubernatorial candidates in New York after Republican nominee Lee Zeldin was attacked last week during a rally in Monroe County.
Griffo, a Republican, wrote to Gov. Kathy Hochul to call for an expansion of State Police protection to include State Police protective detail for gubernatorial candidates.
“In light of the events of last week, where Congressman Lee Zeldin, the Republican and Conservative Party nominee for governor, was attacked at a campaign event, I am requesting that you consider authorizing the New York State Police to offer similar protections to major gubernatorial candidates,” Griff wrote in the letter to Hochul. “The state could establish a set of criteria to determine whether any candidate for governor may qualify for State Police protection, including a determination being made by the superintendent of the State Police in consultation with all four leaders of the Legislature, as occurs with respect to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security secretary.”
Griffo suggested some criteria for protective security detail, including candidates who have established themselves on a recognize party ballot line, have raised at least $5 million this cycle for their campaign or have a level of prominence in public polling.
"As you are aware, the governor is typically granted a protective detail to keep them safe from harm, which is understandable and warranted," Griffo said. "Unfortunately, the current temperature of our politics necessitates the extension of those protections to major gubernatorial candidates as well. We have experienced some serious recent attempts at political violence, which should give all of us pause."