Gubernatorial candidate and U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) received the endorsements of two Nassau County police unions on Friday.
Presidents of the Nassau County Police Detectives Association and Superior Officers Association announced their support for the Republican candidate running against Gov. Kathy Hochul for governor in November.
The Detectives Association is the collective bargaining unit for all of the Nassau County Police Department’s sworn detectives, while the Superior Officers Assocation is the collective bargaining unit for all of the department’s sworn members from the rank of sergeant up to and including assistant chief.
Jeff Gross, the president of the Detectives Association, lauded Zeldin for his commitment to law enforcement officials and criticized state officials for their “dangerous and reckless leadership,” which he said has put Nassau’s public safety at risk.
“We need a new voice and leadership in Albany,” Gross said. “Lee Zeldin is a leader who will reverse the dangerous legislation passed by the current administration. Our law enforcement unions believe strongly that a vote for Lee Zeldin is the first and most important step in restoring public safety and economic prosperity throughout New York state.”
Superior Officers President Ricky Frassetti echoed Gross’ points and praised Zeldin for his support of police officers as an elected official.
“Lee Zeldin has the experience and commitment to make changes in Albany that will protect citizens, support police and give victims the justice they deserve,” Frassetti said. “He will stop the revolving door justice system in our state and hold district attorneys accountable if they side on behalf of criminals instead of victims.”
Zeldin expressed his gratitude for their support and said he will ensure that state lawmakers will have their mutual support, if elected as governor.
“We are joined here today by exceptional men and women of law enforcement from Nassau County who have selflessly dedicated their lives to make our communities safer, Zeldin said. “They should know that those elected to positions of trust and government on all levels have their back.”
Both police unions endorsed former County Executive Laura Curran, a Democrat, in last year’s election. Curran was ultimately defeated by Republican Bruce Blakeman.
Zeldin gained the support of Blakeman and the Nassau County Republican Committee in February.
“We’ve got to come out of darkness,” Blakeman said. “We’ve got to bring light back to New York State. We have to bring common sense back to New York State. And Lee Zeldin is the one to do that.”
After defeating a slate of Republican candidates in the gubernatorial primary June 28, Zeldin is the lone opponent to Hochul, who was promoted from lieutenant governor following Andrew Cuomo’s resignation last August.
Following the results, Zeldin said Hochul’s job is at stake following his primary victory.
“Kathy Hochul has now been warned that NYers are coming for her job at the ballot box this November,” Zeldin tweeted. “We will secure our streets. We will make NY more affordable again. We will fight for our kids & our schools. We will fight to preserve freedom. We are ALL IN!”
In Nassau, Zeldin secured 57.49% of 49,254 total votes. Republican challengers Rob Astorino, Andrew Giuliani and Harry Wilson earned 9.87%, 24.82% and 6.61% of the votes, respectively.
Zeldin, who was elected to Congress in 2014, has served in various capacities throughout the military and spent four years in active duty. Prior to representing New York’s 1st Congressional District, Zeldin was elected to represent the state’s 3rd Senate District and did so for four years.
Zeldin has been a supporter of Donald Trump, voting against a resolution that claimed the former president “incited an insurrection against the government of the United States” with the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol. During Trump’s impeachment probe in January 2021, Zeldin said, “Let’s be honest that this president did a lot to make America greater than ever.”
He also said the Jan. 6 event was a “pre-planned attack,” citing pipe bombs that were discovered and saying the Capitol’s perimeter was breached while Trump was speaking.