Rep. Lee Zeldin closes in on Gov. Hochul in new poll:

Trump endorses Republican Rep. Zeldin in New York governor ‘toss up’ race against Democrat Hochul

Former President Donald Trump took to TRUTH Social Sunday to endorse Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin in what’s now being considered a toss off election to dethrone Democrat New York Gov. Kathy Hochul.  

“I have watched and known Congressman Lee Zeldin for many years. He is a great and brilliant lawyer who was a ‘must see’ for others in Congress when they had a complex legal problem that was holding up legislation,” Trump wrote on Sunday morning. “Lee was strong on the Border, Crime, our great Military & Vets (like few others!), and fought hard to protect our 2nd Amendment, and succeeded. Lee Zeldin is a WINNER who GOT THINGS DONE. He will be a GREAT Governor of New York, and has my Complete & Total Endorsement. GOOD LUCK LEE!” 

The endorsement comes just three weeks from Election Day and a week after a shooting outside of Zeldin’s home on Long Island added momentum to his tough on crime campaign. 

The Republican has repeatedly criticized Hochul’s support for New York’s controversial bail reforms and vowed to fire liberal Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg on day one upon taking the helm in Albany. 

NEW YORK GOVERNOR RACE BETWEEN GOV. HOCHUL AND REP. ZELDIN TIGHTENS TO ‘TOSS UP’ 

Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-NY, participates in the annual Columbus Day Parade, the largest in the country, on October 10, 2022, in New York City. 
(Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Meanwhile, the Hochul campaign condemned Trump’s endorsement of Zeldin as the leader of the Democratic stronghold state that has not seen a Republican governor in decades. 

“With an endorsement from Trump himself, Lee Zeldin now has a formal stamp of approval as the most extreme and dangerous candidate to ever run for governor in New York State history,” Hochul campaign spokesman Jerrel Harvey said in a statement Sunday. “While Trump’s endorsement doesn’t come as a surprise, becoming the former president’s handpicked choice for governor proves Zeldin’s full embrace of the MAGA agenda and shows just how out of touch he is with New York voters.”

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul attends the annual Columbus Day Parade, the largest in the country, in Manhattan on October 10, 2022, in New York City. 

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul attends the annual Columbus Day Parade, the largest in the country, in Manhattan on October 10, 2022, in New York City. 
(Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

RealClearPolitics recently categorized the race between Hochul and Zeldin as a “toss up.” 

The outlet’s rolling polling average from Sept. 30 to Oct. 12 shows that Hochul is leading the Republican congressman by 5.3% with 7% of voters undecided on who they will vote for. The shift in polls amounts to a significant comeback for Zeldin, who was down in the polls as much as 24 points in August.

Congressman Lee Zeldin, center, attends the annual Columbus Day parade on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan with his wife and 16-year-old twin daughters. 

Congressman Lee Zeldin, center, attends the annual Columbus Day parade on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan with his wife and 16-year-old twin daughters. 
(Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)

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Fox News Digital reached out to Zeldin’s campaign for reaction to Trump’s endorsement. 

Fox News’ Andrew Mark Miller contributed to this report. 

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