The horrific killing of an FDNY EMS lieutenant last week became a major topic of conversation in the race for governor Monday.

Both Gov. Kathy Hochul and her Republican challenger, Long Island Rep. Lee Zeldin, said more needs to be done to increase public safety but differ on what to do.

Hochul was on Long Island Monday for the opening of the new LIRR third track, but it was the seemingly random fatal stabbing last week of EMS Lieutenant Alison Russo that recieved her attention. It was a crime that shocked the city, but also renewed calls to fix the mental health system.

“During the pandemic, a lot of people who needed mental health services didn’t receive them,” Hochul said. “They were disconnected from their support systems. They weren’t getting medication. So, that is a factor.”

“I’m not saying that is the cause of all these instances. But something traumatic has happened to society. And sociologists will be explaining this for years to come, but right now we are dealing with the aftermath,” the governor added.

Meanwhile, Zeldin was in Harlem, unveiling a plan for education, among other initiatives. While he said he agrees that a lack of mental health treatment is a problem, he argued the stabbing is also part of a troubling pattern.

“It was just the next day, while we were all mourning the death of that EMT, that we read about the steam fitter that was fatally stabbed to death on the L train,” Zeldin said. “People are walking these streets now with their head on a swivel.”

“People telling me stories about how if they have to walk two blocks they are taking an Uber rather than walking,” the congressman added.

Zeldin has been campaigning in the city several days a week as the state enters the general election’s final stretch, a big part of his strategy for winning.

“We know that as far as a pathway to victory, we can’t get less than 29% of the vote in New York City. We know that if we get over 35% of the vote in New York City it becomes very unlikely that we lose the race. So, that’s why we are spending so much time in the city,” Zeldin said.

And while Zeldin said he can win with that 35% here in the city, a recent poll showed him losing to Hochul in the suburbs, and just a point ahead upstate. He will have to do much better in those areas to secure a victory.

The election is Tuesday, Nov. 8.