Former President Donald Trump reportedly helped New York’s Republican candidate for governor, Rep. Lee Zeldin, raise an additional $1.5 million for his campaign to oust incumbent Democrat Kathy Hochul.
At a reception hosted Sunday at the Chera real estate family’s home in New Jersey, Trump advocated for Zeldin, who has been inching closer to former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s predecessor in the polls in recent days with the general election still nine weeks away in November.
The New York Post reported that the event earned Zeldin a $1.5 million boost in campaign cash.
Trump applauded Zeldin for helping him through an “impeachment hoax number one and impeachment hoax number two and a lot of scams,” including efforts to have Joe Biden’s 2020 victory overturned.
“I had these maniacs against me. He was one of those great voices,” Trump said Sunday, according to a recording obtained by the Post. “Go support Lee Zeldin.”
Trump also noted his administration’s moving the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, adding that the former president has supported Zeldin, who is Jewish, since his first congressional run in 2014.
“There are people you meet in politics who you refer to as friends. They’re the people who show up the day after you win. They tell you they were there the whole time. I’m pretty sure they weren’t. But then they’re our friends,” Zeldin said at the event. “He’s with supporters and strong supporters — people who believe in him, people who believe that his policies are right for America and that his policies still to this day are right for America.”
Campaign filing from mid-July showed Hochul had $11.7 million in campaign funding on hand, compared to Zeldin’s $1.6 million.
Trump did not endorse Zeldin before New York’s crowded GOP primary in June.