N.Y. gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin attacked at campaign event

·2-min read

Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., was attacked at a campaign event on Thursday night.

Zeldin, the GOP nominee to take on Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul, was speaking in a suburb of Rochester when a man suddenly appeared on stage, raising his arm to Zeldin’s neck, according to video of the event shared online.

Nearby allies were quick to jump to the stage, grabbing the man and pulling him down to the ground — as he brought Zeldin toward the floor of the stage with him.

Zeldin tweeted of the incident: "Someone tried to stab me on stage during this evening’s rally, but fortunately, I was able to grab his wrist and stop him for a few moments until others tackled him."

The man was then taken into custody.

Zeldin then returned to the stage, where he finished his remarks and thanked law enforcement at the scene.

Katie Vincentz, a Zeldin campaign spokesperson, said in a statement: “Congressman Zeldin, [running mate] 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.”

According to local television station WROC-TV, witnesses said Zeldin was giving a speech on bail reform when a man went on stage and began yelling. The man allegedly “wrestled” with Zeldin for “a bit, and pulled a blade out.”

Hochul tweeted on Thursday night that she was glad Zeldin was not hurt in the attack.

“My team has informed me about the incident at Lee Zeldin's campaign event tonight. Relieved to hear that Congressman Zeldin was not injured and that the suspect is in custody,” she wrote. “I condemn this violent behavior in the strongest terms possible — it has no place in New York.”