Rep. Lee Zeldin, the Republican nominee for Governor of New York, was attacked by a man brandishing a knife Thursday at a campaign stop.
During a speech near Rochester, NY, a would-be assassin charged the stage and attempted to stab Zeldin. Zeldin, who wrestled with the attacker for a moment, escaped the incident unscathed, but Lt. Governor nominee Alison Esposito was slashed by the knife in her hand. Eyewitnesses say the attacker attempted to stab Zeldin in the neck.
In a show of strength, Zeldin finished his speech after the attack.
According to local news outlets:
They say Zeldin was giving a speech at the VFW on Macedon Center Road when a man got on stage, started yelling, “wrestled with him a bit, and pulled a blade out.” The alleged attacker was suppressed by AMVETS national Director Joe Chenelly.
The attacker climbed on stage while Zeldin was speaking, but the GOP nominee grabbed the attacker by the wrist and stopped him until several others assisted, according to Zeldin’s campaign. Videos showing the attacker climbing onto the stage were posted to Twitter by witnesses shortly after it occurred.
Photos from the attack showed the attacker reportedly used a sharp weapon with holes for gripping purposes.
“After speaking on bail reform, someone just tried stabbing New York Governor candidate Lee Zeldin in Fairport NY,” one rally attendee tweeted.
“My father was near the front, apparently Lt. Gov candidate Alison Esposito was cut on the hand while helping subdue the attacker (25 Year NYPD Cop so I’m not surprised she intervened) but she is alright.”
Shockingly, the suspect was immediately released from custody shortly after the attack, a clear sign to New Yorkers that criminal justice is not serious to the current regime.
Zeldin’s campaign spox Katie Vincentz pointed to the attack as just another sign of the “out of control crime and violence in New York.”
Congressman Zeldin, Alison Esposito and all members of Team Zeldin are safe following tonight’s attack. Far more must be done to make New York safe again. This is very much getting out of hand in this state. Unfortunately, Congressman Zeldin is just the latest New Yorker whose life has been affected by the out of control crime and violence in New York. This needs to stop! Thankfully, we still have exceptional men and women in law enforcement answering the call to protect our streets.
New York Republican Party Chairman Nick Langworthy praised the attendees who took action to stop the attacker but noted that Governor Kathy Hochul (D) told her supporters to attend Zeldin’s rally hours before the event.
Tonight, Congressman Zeldin was targeted in a violent attack at a campaign rally stop in Monroe County. Thanks to the swift action of several brave eventgoers, the perpetrator was subdued. Congressman Zeldin and all of the attendees are safe, but this could have ended much worse. It’s not a coincidence that just hours earlier, Kathy Hochul fanned the flames of hate by directing her supporters to his rally schedule. This is unacceptable conduct for anyone, let alone a sitting governor. It’s not enough to condemn the attack, she must apologize and tone down her hateful rhetoric immediately.
GOP strategist Arthur Schwartz posted Hochul’s press release sent hours before the attack that included a list of Zeldin’s upcoming campaign stops.
“You sent your supporters after him. And they came,” Schwartz tweeted.