Gov. Kathy Hochul's campaign on Tuesday released a pair of TV ads knocking her rival, Republican U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin, on issues ranging from guns to abortion as well as the attack on the U.S. Capitol disrupting the certification of President Joe Biden's election.
The ads come as the focus of the gubernatorial campaign is now shifting to the general election and both sides hope to capture the attention of voters in the next eight weeks.
Both spots also underscore which issues Hochul plans to raise in the next two months as she seeks a full term. Zeldin, by contrast, has criticized Hochul over public safety and ongoing uncertainty surrounding inflation and the broader economy.
Hochul's campaign is placing a bet on issues like the overturning of the landmark Roe v. Wade decision will motivate voters, as well as the fallout from the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol that has been the subject of congressional hearings this summer.
One ad concludes, "Lee Zeldin is extreme and dangerous."
The second spot highlights Hochul's push this summer for gun law changes following mass shootings in Buffalo and Texas. Lawmakers and Hochul agreed to a package of measures including an expansion of the red flag law in New York as well as raising the age of possessing a semiautomatic rifle from 18 to 21.
The Legislature and Hochul also agreed to tightening concealed carry provisions following the U.S. Supreme Court's overturning of a century-old law. The ad features Zeneta Everhart, whose son was wounded at the Buffalo supermarket.
"A lot of politicians talk," she said in the ad. "Gov. Hochul took action. And I'll never forget that."
The ads are part of a $2 million campaign that will air on TV and digital channels.
Zeldin, meanwhile, in New York City rebufffed the ads, calling the issues raised in them distractions away from issues like crime and inflation.
"What I'm doing is talking about the issues New Yorkers say they want to focus on," Zeldin said. "She's putting millions of dollars behind an ad. Is it about making the streets safer in New York? No."