Following his loss to New York Governor Kathy Hochul in Tuesday’s election, Jewish Republican U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin sounded an upbeat note on the accomplishments of his campaign.

“This race was a once in a generation campaign, with a very close margin in the bluest of blue states,” Zeldin, who garnered 47% of the vote, said on Wednesday. “The unrelenting passion and hard work of our grassroots volunteers and supporters made this incredibly close race possible and helped us win at least 49 of New York’s 62 counties. Republicans, Democrats and Independents united as New Yorkers, pouring their heart and soul into this campaign.”

In the weeks leading up to Election Day, anticipation was building for a potential dramatic comeback by Zeldin, who had trailed Hochul by double digits in earlier polls.

Zeldin, who is one of only two Jewish Republicans serving in Congress, aimed to take advantage of the perception that Hochul and New York Democrats were weak on crime and positioned himself as the law-and-order candidate. Despite his loss, the message especially resonated with the state’s many Orthodox and Haredi neighborhoods, where increased crime usually also means a dramatic rise in anti-Semitic assaults on visible Jews and their property. Zeldin himself was assaulted during a campaign event in July and targeted with an anti-Semitic death threat in June.

On Wednesday, Zeldin said that Hochul “must address the grave concerns voiced by the voters.”

“Those controlling Albany should take note,” he said. “New Yorkers of all walks of life are sick of the attacks on their wallets, their safety, their freedoms and the quality of their kids’ education and are hitting their breaking point, as proven by these results.”

JNS

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