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Which Candidate Had the Strongest Argument To Become the Governor?

The New York gubernatorial elections under the state constitution of 1938 allow a governor’s term to be four years, after which a new governor is elected. Before the polls, candidates can attend different television and radio interviews to present their plans for the people of New York once selected. Before the previous election held on November 8, 2022, the contestants Kathy Hochul and Lee Zeldin attended the Eyewitness News gubernatorial debate giving them a chance to discuss different topics relating to the people of New York. Some of the debate topics included economic development, abortion rights, gun violence, and regulating casinos in New York. Kathy Hochul had the strongest argument for the debate because she candidly spoke about real matters facing New Yorkers and the solutions she would bring. Kathy kept her calm, citing relevant and statistical examples of existing policies as opposed to her opponent Lee Zeldin.

On Abortion Rights

While Lee Zeldin fumbled his previous statement on abolishing abortion rights against all women in New York, Kathy Hochul based her facts on women’s need for access to safe, legal and quality abortion services. Previously before the debate, Lee Zeldin had been quoted by the New York Times at a NY Right to Life stating that he “will appoint a pro-life health practitioner who respects life as opposed to what we used to have” (Zeldin’s Record par.1, 2022). Zeldin had also introduced a Bill to vote against abortion rights stating that abortion access should not be granted to any woman. Additionally, Zeldin banned the travel of pregnant women seeking to access abortion, claiming that abortion is illegal and should be banned. During the debate, journalists reminded him of his previous statements against abortion. Zeldin found himself trying to defend himself by stating that he did not intend to change abortion rights, contrary to his last press statements.

On the other hand, Kathy Hocul appeared calm and collected and pulled facts about how she intended to ensure New York women had access to safe, affordable, and legal abortion rights. Kathy reminded the panel that abortion had been legal in New York since 1970, adding that it was the right to protect the abortion rights of women. In a press statement, Kathy Hochul said, “I have three messages regarding the relentless assault on women’s rights and a woman’s right to determine and make her own decisions about her body. And they are simple messages: Not here. Not now. Not ever”(NewYork State, 2022). Kathy emphasized the need for people to respect women and their rights, adding that abortion is allowed in New York up to and on the twenty-fourth week, after which one can get an abortion in case their life is in danger.

On crime and Gun ownership laws

Zeldin spoke advocating for gun ownership among every one of the legal age of gun ownership. The Republican claimed that gun ownership was not the leading cause of crime in New York and said there is a need to allow anyone eligible by law to own a gun. According to another article by Samantha Rigante published by Pipe Dream, Lee Zeldin is known to champion the pro-gun policy, which researchers say would make New York more dangerous. In the article, Zeldin is reported to have been at the forefront of removing New York’s Red Flag Law, which “prevents individuals who show signs of being a threat to themselves or others from purchasing or possessing any firearm” (Samantha par.2, 2022). In the debate, Zeldin argues that the United States government should not pass stricter gun laws citing that people have a constitutional right to defend themselves and their property. In other previous interviews, Zeldin has been recorded advocating for even people of unsound minds to own guns. Zeldin does not consider the effects of mass gun ownership, including the rise of crime in New York, the death of innocent people and increased insecurity among New Yorkers.

Kathy Hochul, who during the debate was recorded emphasizing the need for stricter gun laws, cited that there was a need to regulate and monitor gun owners. Kathy Hochul touched on the consequences of crime, seeking to clarify that those found in possession of guns illegally ought to face the law. Kathy gave an example of a teenager who walked into a shop in Buffalo and was able to buy an assault weapon. Kathy goes further and mentions how in St. Louis, crime and murders had gone down by two per cent from eighteen per cent to sixteen because of the efforts she had made to fight crime in New York. To counter the supreme court ruling on striking down New York’s century-old carry law, Kathy Hochul stated that she would continue to lead New Yorkers in common sense legislation against gun violence. Based on previous statistics, increased gun ownership has been reported as a leading reason why gun violence is rising in the United States (Albany, 2022).

On economic development

In the debate, Zeldin questioned Kathy’s decision to initiate the multi-billion dollar Bufallo bill station that destabilized the economy. Instead, Zeldin suggests other methods, including cutting taxes across the board and removing the estate tax in New York. Zeldin adds that the old gas extraction method should be readopted and more gas pipelines approved, stating that such policies will help create more job opportunities and, thus, economic development. Zeldin when asked if he would still support the Buffalo Bills, Zeldin said that it was a bad project and he would not assign such a job to a billionaire club owner as Hochul did. Throughout the debate, the seemingly irritated Zeldin accused Hochul of selling the state to what he called the “pay to play” governorship which Kathy Hochul used to sell the state’s contract cash for campaign donations. Zeldin’s critics of the Buffalo Bills come amidst the initial approval by the state of 600 million dollars to build a team owned by a billionaire and a new stadium.

To counter the critics, Kathy Hochul mentioned that the bills “looked elsewhere” and their focus is not what Zeldin was attacking. Hochul was heard saying, “You think about the identity of the community — like Broadway is to New York City, the Buffalo Bills are to Western New York,” in response to Zeldin’s allegations of misuse of state funding. The governor, Kathy Hochul, in an article by Bobby Cuza published in New York1, is reported to have increased job opportunities for New Yorkers through policies such as increasing renewable energy projects, which led to the creation of green jobs. Other development initiatives led by Hochul include the deal to initiate a vast microchip manufacturing campus in the Syracuse area. On taxation, Kathy Hochul mentioned wanting to change the narrative that New York is a high-taxation city. To do this, Kathy said that her plans included reducing the middle-class tax by approximately $1.2 billion and banning gas tax (Bobby par.6, 2022). Throughout the economic development debate, Kathy mentioned tangible and existing projects she had started and which led to economic development.

Basing my argument on parameters like articulation, citing of facts, clarity and use of appeal, Kathy Hochul ticked all the boxes. Lee Zeldin would sometimes lose his temper, and at some point, Kathy Hochul is heard telling him, “Excuse me, I’m speaking,” which is not a quality of a good debater. Kathy Hochul remained composed and would answer her questions calmly based on her references to current events in New York City. Kathy Hochul managed her temperament and articulated her words, keeping her facial expressions, such as nodding and smiling, throughout the debate. Kathy Hochul used statistics, and upon my research, her wordings in the discussion did not differ from her previous interviews or press briefings as compared to some instances like the abortion rights bill in which Zeldin appeared to give contrary opinions from his previous statements. From the above incidents, Kathy Hochul was the strongest candidate for the debate.

Works Cited

Eyewitness News ABC7NY. Hochul, Zeldin spar over crime, Trump in debate for New York governor

I used this site because it contained the debate I needed to reference when judging the two candidates.

New York State article by Albany August 31, 2022, “Governor Hochul Announces New Concealed Carry Laws Passed in Response to Reckless Supreme Court Decision Take Effect September 1, 2022.”

I used this article because it contains more information about Governor Kathy Hochul’s policies on gun laws and security matters in New York. The report also added more details to the sentiments given by Hochul on the need for stricter gun laws.

New York State. Abortion in New York State: Know Your Rights

I used this article because it gave the views of Hochul on abortion as discussed in the debate, and I wanted to learn why she allowed abortion in New York.

Pipe Dream article by Samantha Rigante October 27, 2022 “Lee Zeldin’s pro-gun policy would make New York more dangerous”,possessing%20any%20kind%20of%20firearm.%E2%80%9D

used this article because it had more information about Lee’s policies on gun ownership, and I wanted to know Lee’s previous sentiments about guns and gun ownership in New York.


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