Republican gubernatorial hopeful Lee Zeldin has received enough backing from local Conservative Party leaders in the last month to be called the "presumptive nominee" by the organization's statewide chairman.
“During these past months as Lee made his decision to run and embarked on his extensive travels to meet with our leaders and the citizens in all parts of the state, I was pleased with the level of support he was receiving from within the party," said Chairman Gerard Kassar. "County after county, leader after leader endorsed Lee. Excitement was clearly building with many party activists reaching out to me indicating they felt good about our chances of taking back the state next year."
The backing of the Conservative Party, a small but influential ballot line, has been considered key for any Republican running statewide. Zeldin, a Long Island Republican, has sought the backing of elected officials as well as county leaders for both the Republicans and the Conservative Party since announcing his bid in April.
Zeldin is competing for the nomination against former Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino and Andrew Giuliani. Formal backing from either party is not expected until next year.
“It’s an honor to be earning this much strong, early support from every corner of our state, especially the principled members of the New York State Conservative Party. Under the leadership of Chairman Kassar, the Conservative Party understands that this election is bigger than any one of us," Zeldin said. "This election is a fight for the future of our state, a fight to restore New York to glory."