FLASHBACK: Hochul Branded Zeldin ‘Dangerous’ And An ‘Extremist’ Weeks Before Man Tried To Stab Him

(Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

Brianna Lyman News and Commentary Writer
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Democratic New York Gov. Kathy Hochul branded Republican gubernatorial nominee and sitting Congressman Lee Zeldin as “dangerous” and a “far-right extremist” in a campaign ad just weeks before a man tried to stab Zeldin at a campaign event.

The ad, released in June, said Zeldin isn’t “just any Republican” but rather an “extreme” candidate.

“Meet Lee Zeldin, the far-right extremist that the Republicans just nominated for governor,” Hochul’s tweet read. “Despite what he might try to sell you, the facts speak for themselves: he is dangerous for New York.”

“He didn’t just cheer the overturning of Roe. He’s voted for abortion bans even when the mother’s health is at risk,” the ad says. “He says he’d undo our common sense gun laws and voted to override our voices and overturn the 2020 election: because New Yorkers are the last thing Lee Zeldin is fighting for, and he’s too extreme for New York.”

Zeldin was attacked Thursday night during a campaign speech about bail reform in upstate New York. The suspect, David Jakubonis, climbed on stage and allegedly attempted to stab Zeldin, saying “you’re done” while the congressman rallied, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office said in a press release. Jakubonis was arrested and charged with second-degree attempted assault but was later released from jail. (RELATED: Lee Zeldin’s Life Put On The Line After ‘Dog Whistle’ From Hochul, Daily Caller Reporter Says)

Earlier in the day, Hochul released a press statement that posted the dates and times of Zeldin’s campaign events. The release accused Zeldin of spreading “dangerous lies, misinformation and his far-right agenda.”

A field director for Zeldin told the Daily Caller that the bus tour schedule had not been made public by Zeldin’s campaign, though a Hochul spokesperson said a reporter publicly shared Zeldin’s schedule before the release went out.

The staffer claimed Hochul’s press release could have been a “motivating factor” in the attack. The chairman of the state’s Republican Party has demanded Hochul apologize for allegedly fanning “the flames of hate” after the attack.

Hochul took to Twitter on Thursday evening to condemn the attack.

“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.”