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Zeldin Visits Binghamton On Upstate Campaign Tour

VESTAL, NY (WSKG) — Republican gubernatorial candidate Rep. Lee Zeldin (NY-01) continued a multi-day trip across the Southern Tier and Western New York this week with a stop in Binghamton on Wednesday.

Zeldin, who has garnered a majority of endorsements from county Republican committees as well as other GOP leaders, attended the Broome County Republicans’ clam bake Tuesday. Before continuing his trip west toward Erie County, he spoke to reporters in front of Binghamton City Hall where he railed against Democratic control of state government.

“We need a balance of power in Albany. We have, right now, one-party rule," Zeldin said.

Zeldin, a congressman from Long Island and former state senator, said one of his priorities is restoring economic vibrancy to places like Binghamton. He said public investments to do so should be aimed away from direct investments in businesses and more toward public-private partnerships.

“Ultimately, at the end of the day though, it's going to require that entrepreneur to be filling that empty space,” Zeldin said. “A policy that I don't subscribe to is the idea that a local government would be getting tens of millions of dollars and providing what amounts to corporate welfare. And then you're filling up Binghamton Plaza or you're paying the owner to build it with the tax dollars.”

Zeldin added that he does support municipalities building out traditional hard infrastructure, such as roads, sidewalks and water lines, in ways that support businesses.

“I think my vision, always when you're talking about a local government would be to look at what is in the government sphere around that area you're trying to build up,” Zeldin said.

The congressman officially declared his candidacy for governor in April. Other candidates include former Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, Lewis County Sheriff Mike Carpinelli, Queens resident Derrick Gibson, and Andrew Giuliani, son of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

Vaughn Golden has been reporting across New York since 2016. Working as a freelancer while studying journalism and economics at Ithaca College, Vaughn has reported for a number of outlets including the Albany Times Union, New York Post, and NPR among others. Prior to coming to WSKG full-time, Vaughn was a reporter for the Watertown Daily Times. Vaughn now covers government and politics for WSKG.