NY Gov Hochul meets voters, navigates campaign homestretch

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Amid rising food, energy and housing prices, it is no surprise that many New Yorkers are ranking the economy as one of their top issues when headed to the ballot box. Governor Kathy Hochul pledged she won’t raise taxes.

On Halloween night, Gov. Kathy Hochul was at Veselka, a Ukrainian restaurant in the East Village, meeting voters.

“You’re doing a great job,” one woman told Hochul as she stopped by their table.

Well over a thousand restaurants closed permanently in New York City during the COVID pandemic.

“We have a billion dollars on the table to help revitalize our small businesses, especially here in Manhattan, they’re still not recovered,” Hochul explained. “They’re not where they have been. So we’re helping them.”

Hochul would not commit to lowering taxes this next year but she pledged she wouldn’t raise them either.

“We are not raising their taxes,” Hochul said. “We’re going to try and make it easier for them to survive because they’re part of our identity. Small businesses like this are who we are as New Yorkers.”

Hochul has focused much of her campaign on abortion rights and stemming the flow of illegal guns into the city.

“Don’t come here today and tell us that you’ve got a tough-on-crime plan that’s just soft and squishy on guns,” Hochul said at a campaign rally earlier in the day Monday.

Murders and felony assaults were down in New York City last month compared to 2021. However, every other crime category saw a spike, including rape, robberies and grand larceny.

“I’m going to continue working with local law enforcement, supporting the police, funding the police, making sure that they have money from the state that they’ve not had before,” Hochul said. “I tripled the amount of money we give for law enforcement programs. I’m helping mayors in Syracuse, Rochester, Buffalo, Albany — anywhere they need help.”

Democrats outnumber Republicans by more than two to one in the state but Hochul’s lead has dropped from double to single digits in some polls over recent weeks.

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