NEW YORK — The race for New York governor is apparently closer than anyone expected as voters worry about crime and the economy.
In a deep blue state like New York, the answer to whether voters are ready to send the first Republican governor in 20 years to Albany may hinge on pocketbook issues, and with the nonpartisan media site RealClearPolitics calling the race between Democrat Kathy Hochul and Republican Lee Zeldin a toss-up, CBS2 political reporter Marcia Kramer thought it was a good time to talk dollars and “sense” to the two combatants.
Tri-State voter guide:
Kramer caught up with Hochul after shepopular with women voters, but she wanted to know about how Hochul will deal with the economic squeeze that is driving people out of the state.
“Is there anything that you can say that you can do to put more money in people’s pockets if you get elected to a full four-year term?” Kramer asked.
“We have been focused on a $2.1 billion property tax rebate to families that have received many of those checks. We’ve also increased the tax cut for middle-class wage earners. We had $7.7 billion to help families with child care costs,” Hochul said.
Kramer pointed out that most of the things the governor talked about are already in the budget and people are still feeling the pinch.
“So are there any new things that you can do?” Kramer asked.
The governor said she would not raise taxes and that the state gas tax holiday is still in effect.
“The price of gas actually in New York state is about 20 cents less than the national average, so I’m not sure where they’re going to go to get lower gas prices. I don’t think that people are leaving right now because of the high cost of living. It’s a nationwide, in fact, a global phenomenon,” Hochul said.
Kramer caught up with Zeldin on a Brooklyn street.
“If you’re elected governor, what things do you think you could do to put more money back in the pockets of people who are really hurting in New York state?” Kramer asked.
“I’ll tell you one big way to allow people to keep more of their own money in the first place is I would do everything in my power to stop this congestion pricing plan,” Zeldin said. “We need to bring taxes down in this state. We need to lower energy costs. We need to reverse the state’s ban on the safe extraction of natural gas … The policies are heading in the wrong direction. They feel like the taxes aren’t high enough. We’re not spending enough even though we spend over $220 billion, and as a consequence, you have that young family who’s deciding that they want to start their American dream and that involves home ownership, that they have to leave for another state.”
As we all know, every politician running for office promises a lot, and we won’t know until Election Day on Nov. 8 which gubernatorial candidate voters believe.