Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul and her Republican opponent Lee Zeldin on Tuesday rolled out dueling endorsements from law enforcement organizations in the race for governor.
Hochul was endorsed by the Police Benevolent Association of New York State, a group that represents about 1,200 members of the New York State Agency Police Services, including SUNY police, state Environmental Conservation Police, the state Park Police and the Forest Rangers.
“As governor, my top priority is making sure that New Yorkers in every community not only feel safe but are safe," Hochul said. “By working hand in hand with law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve, we have made progress toward making our streets safer and our criminal justice system fairer. I’m honored to earn the endorsement of the Police Benevolent Association of New York State and look forward to building on our efforts to strengthen public safety, reduce crime, and keep dangerous firearms out of the wrong hands.”
Zeldin, a congressman from Long Island, was endorsed by the Police Conference of New York, which represents law enforcement in towns, villages and counties in the state.
“The Police Conference of New York is proud to endorse Congressman Lee Zeldin for Governor of New York. Lee has a long record of backing our brave law enforcement as a state senator and now congressman," said Richard Wells, the group's president. "He opposed efforts to defund the police, supports keeping qualified immunity for our police officers, and as part of his plan to secure our streets, he proposes a law-enforcement bill of rights. Lee opposes the disastrous cashless bail law, Less is More, and more pro-criminal policies that put criminals back on our streets and law enforcement in danger."
A debate over crime and public safety, and how best to address it, has dominated the campaign for governor this year. Hochul and Zeldin have differed over the state's law that largely ended cash bail requirements for many criminal charges as well as how best to curtail gun violence in the state.