Home » Donald Trump prepares to raise money for Rep. Lee Zeldin in NY gubernatorial race

Donald Trump prepares to raise money for Rep. Lee Zeldin in NY gubernatorial race

by Ananya Arora
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Donald Trump is set to appear at the Jersey Shore fundraiser for Rep. Lee Zeldin’s gubernatorial campaign on Sunday. The former president’s support comes after he avoided joining a four-way GOP primary for the party’s nomination earlier this summer.

Couples can pay $25,000 to attend a 5 p.m. event at Deal, New Jersey’s summer-home destination, which includes admission to a VIP reception and a photo with Trump. (No photo needed? Then $1,000 will get you in the door.)

Trump’s presence could boost the fundraising to Congressman Zeldin of Long Island, which is heavily applauded by Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul. As of mid-July, Zeldin’s campaign had about $1.6 million compared to Hochul’s $11.7 million.

But in dark blue New York, Hochul’s campaign and the state Democratic Committee have repeatedly tried to use Zeldin’s association with Trump, highlighting Zeldin’s votes against authenticating the results of the 2020 presidential election. .

“Zeldin will do and say whatever it takes to appeal to the far-right, even if it means raising money with a disgraced former president,” said Hochul campaign spokesman Jarrell Harvey.

Zeldin’s campaign did not respond to requests for comment about the Trump incident.

The fundraiser is being hosted by the Chera family – New York City real-estate moguls whose Crown Acquisitions Inc. Owns Manhattan properties such as the St. Regis Hotel, 450 Park Avenue, 650 Madison Avenue and the Cartier Mansion.

Crown co-founder Stanley Chera, a longtime friend of Trump, died of COVID-19 in the early days of the pandemic in March 2020. Trump himself referred to Chera from the White House while Chera was ill.

The Chera family has a summer home near the borough of Deals, New Jersey where the invitation says the event is taking place. family is hosted Trump at homeWhich is in the nearby Long Branch town for fundraising in the past.

Chera, however, may be hedging his bets, at least if his prior contribution to the New York gubernatorial race is any indication.

Haim Chera, one of Stanley Chera’s three sons, has contributed at least $22,000 to Hochul’s campaign, according to state disclosure records. His son, Stanley H. Chera, gave another $2,500.

Haim Chera is currently head of retail for Vornado Realty Trust, the company behind the controversial Penn Station redevelopment plan backed by Hochul and one of the city’s largest office landlords.

Other members of the Chera family have supported Zeldin, including Isaac and Frida Chera, who contributed a total of $8,000 by mid-July.

Neither Haim Chera nor Crown Acquisition returned a request for comment on Friday.

Zeldin was a staunch defender of Trump during the former president’s tenure, often appearing on cable news programs as a surrogate.

Trump’s stumping for Zeldin’s gubernatorial campaign comes as the former president is embroiled in an investigation alleging he removed sensitive government documents from the White House when he stepped down in January 2021.

During a campaign Tuesday in the suburban Albany city of Colony, Zeldin was asked about the FBI’s recent raid at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida and whether it would help or hurt Republicans.

“There are many more people who are motivated to join this election,” Zeldin told reporters. “I believe what happened had a net negative effect for the Democrats.”

Trump, a native New Yorker, won about 38% of the New York vote in the 2020 election, after garnering 37% of the vote in 2016.

He showed no support in the June 28 GOP primary for governor, which — along with Zeldin — also included Trump aides Rob Astorino and Andrew Giuliani. (The fourth candidate, Harry Wilson, said he did not vote for Trump.)

In late July, a Siena College poll found that just 32% of New York voters likely viewed Trump favorably. Of the 13 million registered voters in New York, approximately 6.5 million are enrolled as Democrats and 2.8 million as Republicans.

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