Representative Lee Zeldin confirms leukemia diagnosis
Representative Lee Zeldin, a staunch Long Island conservative and the leading Republican candidate for next year’s governorship in New York City, revealed he was diagnosed with leukemia last year and is following up a treatment.
Zeldin, 41, told attendees at an Ontario County Republican Party dinner Friday night that he had been struggling with the diagnosis of early-stage chronic myelogenous leukemia since November 2020. He has been diagnosed with early stage chronic myelogenous leukemia. confirmed Saturday in a text message to the New York Times. that he had cancer, then released a statement.
“In the past nine months I have achieved complete remission, I am supposed to live a normal life, and my doctor says that I currently have no evidence of this disease in my system,” Mr. Zeldin, the one of the strongest supporters of the former said President Donald J. Trump. “My health is phenomenal and I continue to function at 110%.”
Mr Zeldin had mentioned his diagnosis in part because Ontario County Party President Trisha Turner had faced her own health issues. Brian Kolb, a former state assembly member, said Mr. Zeldin brought him roses and drew a parallel between his struggles and hers. Mr Kolb, a Republican, recalled Mr Zeldin saying he wanted to make sure his disease was under control before he started campaigning earlier this year.
In the statement, Mr Zeldin said he had no side effects from his treatment, and he ruled out whether the diagnosis would have any implications for him as he continued as governor, in checking off the places he visited in the state.
“I also did not miss my duty in the Army Reserve as a result of this diagnosis,” said Mr. Zeldin. He shared a statement from his hematologist, Dr Jeffrey Vacirca, saying Mr Zeldin now has “no evidence of illness.”
Zeldin announced his candidacy for governor in April, with a view to oust then-incumbent Andrew M. Cuomo, a three-term Democrat elected in 2010.
“The bottom line is this: To save New York, Andrew Cuomo has to go,” Zeldin said when he declared his candidacy.
Mr Cuomo was, at the time, embroiled in a scandal after a series of sexual harassment complaints emerged against him from former and current employees. By the time a report by Attorney General Letitia James was released in August, the number of accusers had risen to 11.
Mr Cuomo denied most of the charges, even as Ms James’ report affirmed the complaints. He resigned a week later, and his exit reshaped the election.
Andrew Giuliani, the son of Rudolph W. Giuliani, former mayor of New York, is also running for governor as a Republican. Young Mr. Giuliani worked in the White House while Mr. Trump was there, and he presented himself as some kind of merger of his father and the former president.
But Mr. Trump and the former mayor are not particularly popular in the denser parts of upstate New York, a state where Democrats trump Republicans in registration.
Mr. Zeldin has amassed the most institutional backing among Republicans statewide, and in his statement he described himself as the “presumptive” Republican nominee. In previous election cycles for governor, the establishment’s choice for the Republican candidate has at times been overwhelmed by a popular candidate. This was the case in 2010, when Carl Paladino, a businessman from western New York, handily defeated Rick Lazio, former Congressman from Long Island, by about 2-1 votes in the primary.
But Mr. Zeldin and Mr. Giuliani both present themselves as more state-specific versions of Mr. Trump, which makes such differentiation in a primary more difficult.