Zeldin: NY crime not going anywhere because election is over, residents tasked with deciding whether to stay

Zeldin says issues he campaign on 'don't just go away the day after an election'

Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin, who lost his election for New York governor to incumbent Democrat Kathy Hochul, said that just because the election is over, crime issues plaguing the state will not disappear. 

"The governor is going to have to step in and crack down on [crime]. We have to support our men and women in law enforcement. Many of the issues that we were campaigning on, they don't just go away the day after an election," Zeldin said on "Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo."

"And we continue to see that with all the crime headlines that continue to be part of the news. And that's going to impact New Yorkers deciding whether or not to stay in this state and for others to decide whether or not to travel to New York," he continued. 

Zeldin campaigned on law and order as the state, and in particular, New York City, has been throttled by rising crime over the last few years. Zeldin blamed the crime rates on soft-on-crime district attorney and policies such as bail reform, which went into effect in the state in 2020 and eliminated cash bail options for most nonviolent crimes and misdemeanors. 

DESPITE LOSS, ZELDIN REMAINS PROUD OF 'ONCE-IN-A-GENERATION CAMPAIGN'

Republican gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin attends the annual Columbus Day parade in New York City, Oct. 10, 2022.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin attends the annual Columbus Day parade in New York City, Oct. 10, 2022. (Reuters/Shannon Stapleton/File Photo)

"It's really important as the Democrats go forward that they understand that they can't be passing more pro-criminal laws. They need to make changes to some of the pro-criminal laws they have passed already, like cashless bail. We still have rogue district attorneys like Alvin Bragg who might be emboldened to go forward with policies refusing to enforce the law," Zeldin said. 

NY GOV. KATHY HOCHUL ACCUSES LEE ZELDIN OF ‘TRYING TO SCARE PEOPLE FOR MONTHS’ OVER STATE'S CRIME WOES

Hochul received nearly 53% of the vote on Tuesday compared to Zeldin’s 47%. Though he lost, Zeldin noted that he was the first "Republican statewide candidate in the last 52 years" to receive as many votes as he did. 

Vice President Kamala Harris, Gov. Kathy Hochul and Hillary Clinton stand together during a campaign event for Hochul on Nov. 3 at Barnard College in New York.

Vice President Kamala Harris, Gov. Kathy Hochul and Hillary Clinton stand together during a campaign event for Hochul on Nov. 3 at Barnard College in New York. (AP/Mary Altaffer)

"There's a lot we need to build upon here in New York. We saw big victories in Asian American communities. We won Chinatown and Manhattan and Sunset Park and Brooklyn and Flushing and Queens, great progress with Latino voters, with Black voters with Orthodox Jewish voters. We won a lot of important down ballot races. And many different competitive House seats unfortunately flipped from blue to red, which is a big deal as far as the effort to regain control of the House of Representatives," he continued. 

NEW YORK GOVERNOR: LEE ZELDIN SUPPORTER ATTACKED AT RALLY FOR GOV. KATHY HOCHUL, VIDEO SHOWS

Host Maria Bartiromo asked Zeldin if people leaving the state over crime and high taxes ended up hurting his campaign. 

Gov. Ron DeSantis gives a victory speech during his election night watch party at the Tampa Convention Center on Nov. 8, 2022, in Tampa, Florida.

Gov. Ron DeSantis gives a victory speech during his election night watch party at the Tampa Convention Center on Nov. 8, 2022, in Tampa, Florida. (Octavio Jones/Getty Images)

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"There are probably more than a few Ron DeSantis voters this past Tuesday, former New Yorkers who decided to leave because they hit their breaking point in this state. Policies that made them look to places like Florida and decided that their money will go further, they'll feel safer and live life freer. No doubt that that's absolutely a reality here," he said.