Republican gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin visited Glendale on Oct. 26 to speak to a favorable crowd about his tough-on-crime approach, something residents in the community have been pushing for.
Zeldin gathered a crowd near a Mobil gas station located at 71-05 Myrtle Ave., where he was joined by Democratic Councilman Robert Holden.
“I’m a Democrat, but I’m crossing party lines,” Holden said. “Why? Because all you have to do is look what’s happening in New York City and New York state on a daily basis.”
Holden mentioned that crime has become rampant, and since Gov. Kathy Hochul took office, he says it has only gotten worse.
“People won’t take the subway. My wife said she will never get on the subway again,” Holden said. “We can’t live like this. So we need to elect Lee Zeldin.”
Today, @leezeldin visited my district to meet with South Asian business owners who are fed up with their businesses being robbed, and their employees assaulted.
We need to clamp down on the lawlessness that has taken over our streets. Lee Zeldin will do that. pic.twitter.com/55pHxmEKwY
— Robert Holden (@BobHoldenNYC) October 26, 2022
Many members of the South Asian community showed their support to Zeldin as well, most of whom own businesses in the area.
“We are getting robbed every week,” said Glendale gas station owner Karamjit Dhaliwal. “They are coming to steal from our gas station, beating my employees; it’s dangerous. This is not the America we came [to], this is a different country.”
Dhaliwal agreed with Holden, saying Hochul will not be able to put an end to crime in the area.
“Our governor is doing nothing to control the crime. Bail reform has to stop,” Dhaliwal said. “I am also a Democrat, but this time we go across the line.”
Crime has led political discourse for ages, and recently at the head of that discussion for New Yorkers comes the argument for or against bail reform.
New York passed the bail reform law in 2019, which prohibits cash bail for all but the most egregious offenders. This legislation made it so that state judges use the least restrictive measures in ensuring a defendant returns to court.
“This is truly a campaign about being able to take back our streets, being able to secure our streets,” Zeldin said. “You feel helpless, because you can call your local law enforcement and tell them what is happening but the reality is that handcuffs are being thrown on the criminal justice system, rather than slapping those handcuffs on the people who are actually committing the crimes.”
Zeldin’s visit to Glendale came one day after the gubernatorial debate with Hochul. Holden commended Zeldin’s performance, in which the two candidates battled it out over crime, abortion rights and more.
Holden told QNS that though he is endorsing Zeldin for governor, he doesn’t agree with all of his politics.
Zeldin has received some criticism for supporting President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election. Zeldin was one of 147 House Republicans who objected to certify President Joe Biden’s electoral victory.
“I don’t go along with party lines and I’m proud of that,” Holden said. “I know [Zeldin’s] politics — he’s a Republican — but I don’t care about that. I care about public safety. I care that my constituents don’t feel safe. My wife doesn’t feel safe. I grew up here and had a young family in the ’90s, and it was bad until Rudy Giuliani, a Republican, came into power and straightened out the city.”
Zeldin has said that, if elected, he would sign an executive order to suspend cashless bail in New York.
“It is time to take back our streets and our subways,” Zeldin concluded. “All law-abiding New Yorkers should be able to walk these streets and feel safe again.”