EXCLUSIVE: House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik is hosting a rally for New York GOP gubernatorial nominee Rep. Lee Zeldin and other top Republican candidates in the Empire State Thursday night to “save” the state, predicting the GOP is “on the precipice of once in a generation wins to flip blue states red and have big wins on Election Day.”
Stefanik, R-N.Y., is hosting the “Save our State Rally” at 6 p.m. in Castleton-On-Hudson, New York, in support of Zeldin, Republican candidate for lieutenant governor, Alison Esposito; candidate for state attorney general, Paul Rodriguez; comptroller candidate Jose Pimion; U.S. Senate candidate Liz Joy; candidate for New York’s 20th congressional district, Marc Molinaro and more.
“We are seeing the blue wall in traditionally blue states crumble into an ash heap of political history across the country,” Stefanik told Fox News Digital in an exclusive interview. “Republicans are on the precipice of once in a generation wins to flip blue states red and have big wins on Election Day.”
Stefanik told Fox News Digital that she tells her constituents that they have experienced “the double whammy of far left radical policies of single-party Democrat rule, both in Washington and in Albany,” noting that people are “suffering from inflation, as it is at a historic high, and crime continues to skyrocket in these blue states.”
“This is the opportunity to save our state,” Stefanik told Fox News Digital.
Stefanik said Thursday’s rally “will be the biggest rally in upstate New York of the midterm election cycle,” with more than 1,000 people anticipated to attend.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul has led in polls throughout the race, but Zeldin has closed the gap enough that Democrats are engaged, and Americans are watching in an increasingly competitive race–especially as Zeldin makes gains with with independents in the state.
“Many people feel that today’s far left radical Democrat Party has left them—these are families or individuals who have been registered maybe 20, 30 years ago as Democrats and see that those policies have failed over and over again in New York,” Stefanik said. “And we can’t keep going down this path towards radical policies.”
New York has gone blue in every presidential election since 1988. Since 1992, no Republican hopeful has received more than 41% of the vote in the state. The last Republican to win the governorship there was George Pataki, who won terms in 1994, 1998 and 2002.
Pointing to top issues for voters this cycle, Stefanik said crime in New York is surging, and said voters are “seeing the results of failed bail reform, of defund the police policies and rhetoric.”
“People don’t feel safe, don’t feel safe in their homes, raising kids, or starting small businesses,” she said, pointing to Zeldin’s support among law enforcement and businesses in the state.
“Zeldin, on day one, will call a crime emergency and fire Alvin Bragg and other district attorneys that are not prosecuting criminals,” Stefanik explained. “Governors have the authority to do that according to the New York State Constitution and for Lee Zeldin, that’s a major campaign promise.”
Stefanik said Zeldin has also vowed to “throw out bail reform and make sure that the New York State Senate and Assembly have to go into session immediately to get rid of that horrific law.”
“He strongly backs law enforcement, whether it is the NYPD, whether it is country sheriffs across the state,” she said.
As for the economy, Stefanik said Zeldin will “stop the pain of reckless spending,”
“New York State’s budget is more than the budgets of Texas and Florida combined, and those two states, individually, have more population than the state of New York, so, think about that fiscal irresponsibility that we continue to see in New York State,” she said. “Lee Zeldin is going to bring that under control.”
She added that Zeldin will “stop the cesspool of corruption that has existed for a generation” in New York.
As for Hochul, Stefanik slammed her as a “weak candidate.”
“Kathy Hochul has really struggled to unify the Democrat Party,” she explained.
Hochul, who was lieutenant governor to former Gov. Andrew Cuomo, took the helm last year amid sexual harassment allegations against Cuomo.
“She is Cuomo 2.0, except worse, and that’s a pretty high bar to surpass because no one thought we could have a worse governor than Cuomo, myself included, and Kathy Hochul has somehow achieved that,” Stefanik said. “Kathy Hochul is definitely going to reap what she’s sowed.”
Stefanik added that this election is “a referendum on her and it is a referendum on Joe Biden—really, it is a referendum on single party Democrat rule across the country.”
As for Thursday night’s rally, just days before Election Day, Stefanik said she and Republicans will campaign to ensure that upstate New York “turns out big” for Zeldin.
“Lee is doing a great job to make sure that he wins by a margin that he needs in downstate, but it is really upstate New York that’s going to have to turn out huge to get this done,” she said. “My district, we’ve always had the highest congressional turnout, the last few cycles, of any congressional district in the state, and we’re going to work hard to do that again.”
Stefanik said she and Republicans have “worked to develop a strong grassroots team.”
“This rally is going to be part of the closing, final get-out-the-vote effort, not only across upstate New York, but across the state,” she said. “And I think we’re on the precipice to have the biggest election night surprise of this cycle when Lee Zeldin wins.”