Parental Rights & Medical Freedom
by Michael Kane
Lee Zeldin was the gubernatorial candidate for parental rights and medical freedom in New York this election cycle and it was an honor to endorse him, campaign with him, and promote him on all Teachers for Choice platforms.
However The GOP in New York made a critical mistake in not placing parental rights or medical freedom at the top of their messaging. Instead their top 3 messages were:
- Economy / Inflation
- Freedom / Loss of Freedoms
“Loss of Freedoms” was far too broad to get the parent vote excited to the degree necessary for a gubernatorial win. Parents wanted to hear Zeldin say he was against mandates, against lockdowns, against school closures, and supported deep parental involvement in their kids schools. They wanted to hear that over and over again!
Zeldin did support all of this, but it wasn’t his top message. That was a mistake; especially in light of the fact that in Florida and Virginia Ron DeSantis and Glenn Youngkin recently won their Governor races with parental rights and medical freedom at the top of their messaging.
Teachers for Choice first met with Zeldin on a Zoom call on May 11, 2022, where he laid out his clear support for medical freedom and parental rights. That night we had over 300 people on the call, and I was told this was the highest grassroots virtual turnout his campaign ever hosted. Such turnout was indicative of where the excitement for change was (and is!) in New York politics.
But the GOP in New York was committed to just two major messages – Crime & Inflation.
They never committed to exposing Kathy Hochul’s Quarantine Camp regulation. Zeldin did clearly, and correctly, state he was against this insane regulation, but he only did so on one or two occasions and never took full advantage of Attorney Bobbie Anne Cox and her historic legal victory against Hochul. There is no doubt this was a winning message that would have greatly helped Zeldin’s campaign, especially accompanied with strong medical freedom and parental rights messaging. The NY GOP as a whole was convinced that they were not going to win with this messaging.
I think they were wrong, especially for the Governor’s race.
Nevertheless the NY GOP did make major, historic gains, and Lee Zeldin must get the lion share of the credit with his relentless 6-events-a-day campaigning! 14 Republicans won Congressional seats in New York, and 4 of those flipped seats from Democrat to Republican. These NY GOP gains came on the back of Zeldin, no question about it!
This played a major role in flipping the House of Representatives from Democrat to Republican control. There were also Republican gains in the New York State Assembly and Senate. Every single electoral district in New York trended Red (Republican) – even NYC.
I hope Lee Zeldin stays in the NY GOP – frankly I hope he comes to run the entire show here. New York needs him now more than ever!
POLITICO just reported that Zeldin is being advised to run for Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman. I really, REALLY hope he doesn’t take any of that advice. Instead I want to see him replace Nick Langworthy (who is now headed to Congress) as the next chair of the New York State Republican Party. New York needs his leadership to stay RIGHT HERE!
I firmly believe Zeldin can steer an old party, stuck in an old way of operating, into a new direction to help all New Yorkers.