LONSBERRY: Time for Astorino, Wilson and Giuliani to Drop Out

It’s time to drop this nonsense about a Republican primary for governor of New York.


The fight is on and it’s Zeldin versus Hochul.


This isn’t about personal vanity or getting a job on Fox, it’s about saving what’s left of New York from the continued ruin of one-party Democrat rule.


A primary doesn’t help that, it dooms that.


Zeldin moved first, he made the case first, he spent a year and a half shaking every hand and visiting every county and making the argument, over and over and over again, that New York needs a new, common-sense direction and that he offers that.


The other boys were on the bench.


When Cuomo was an undefeatable monolith, Zeldin was campaigning at every picnic and party house, waving the flag and charting the path and lighting the fire of possibility under New Yorkers of every stripe. It wasn’t until Cuomo went down and the fight got easier that the wannabes popped up, like crows on road kill, to fight over the scraps.


Astorino is a great guy, but he was AWOL when the fight was on. Wilson is a rich guy stroking his ego with TV ads. Giuliani is a sadly disgraced clown’s son. We all loved Rudy 20 years ago, but, man, how he has changed. Young Giuliani has no resume beyond his family tree.


What these three have in common is they are sure losers. And like generations of wannabes before them, they believe their egos or their resumes will be enhanced by being candidates for governor, even in a failed effort. Like generations of wannabes before them, they will screw the interests of the people in an effort to advance themselves.


Everybody on the bench wants to be the quarterback, but most people are on the bench for a reason.


And the bench needs to get on the team or get out of the game. You are either part of the solution or you are part of the problem. You either want what’s best for New York or you need to be honest enough to join the Hochul campaign.


Let me be specific: It’s time to withdraw.


If your name isn’t Zeldin, you’re standing in the wrong line.


It’s not the time for analyst chatter about this one and that one, it’s the time to stand and deliver. If you don’t know that the battle is raging right now, you’re watching the wrong channel.


At this point, with Hochul faltering in the polls and stumbling in the doing of the most fundamental duties, the case against her continued leadership must be made in one voice. That’s not just a prudent political strategy, it’s what the state needs.


Hochul has just blown up the budget process with last-minute autocratic pronouncements. She can’t even work with the members of her own party. She has alienated Democrats in the center and on the left. She has zero resonance with the upstate people who are supposed to be her base.


They boo her at hockey games, and she has to march in parades beside formations of troopers to avoid being booed there.


New York does not like this governor. The Democrats, the Republicans, the country people, the city people. She is seen favorably by less than a third of the state’s voters.


That’s the story that needs to be told. That’s the weakness that needs to be attacked.


Not just to elect a Republican, but to save a state.


Zeldin and Hochul are in a dead heat. That’s an astounding fact in a state where Democrats outnumber Republicans by more than 2-to-1. That’s an astounding fact in a state where enrolled Republicans are only the third-largest bloc of registered voters.


And it’s not interchangeable.


It’s Zeldin vs. Hochul, it’s not Hochul vs. a guy who already lost, the vacuous rich guy or pariah junior. It’s Zeldin vs. Hochul.


That’s a fair fight. Maybe the first fair fight New Yorkers have had in a generation.


Elections are supposed to be about choice. Lee Zeldin is a choice. If it’s Zeldin and Hochul, it can go either way. If it’s anybody else, Hochul lives to flounder another day, and New York stumbles closer to being a failed state.


So get the hell out.


Love you, appreciate you, but you’ve become the enemy. And anyone who forces a Republican primary is a Democrat stalking horse, a wolf in sheep’s clothing, the best hope Kathy Hochul has of becoming governor in her own right.


So get the hell out.


It’s time to drop this nonsense about a Republican primary for governor of New York.

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