Gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin visited Chapin Manufacturing in Batavia to hear about some of the issues local manufacturers face in New York.
CEO Jim Campbell spoke with Zeldin about burdensome regulations and a shrinking base of employable workers, which has forced the company to expand in other states instead of New York.
Zeldin was a receptive ear.
When asked how he, as a Republican, could win in a state dominated by New York City Democrats, Zeldin said he and his team have looked at the numbers. If he can increase the turnout in the state's rural counties he needs to pick up only 29 percent of the vote of the Five Burroughs.
"That is not an intimidating number to me," he said.
He also said surrounding himself with a strong campaign staff is also an advantage and he said his campaign's fundraising efforts have been strong.
"We outraised everybody else combined, including Cuomo and Hochul," Zeldin said. "Kathy will be able to raise money because she's now the governor. But at that point when she ascended, we had millions of dollars more in the bank than she did."
Even he represents the most rural parts of Long Island, his media market takes in all of NYC, so when he does a press conference, all of NYC hears about it. When he runs a campaign ad, it runs across that entire market. He thinks positions him to pick up votes Downstate.
That strategy only works if rural counties increase turnout to help close the gap.
"When you have 15 or 20 counties like Genesee all trying to get those extra five points, extra six points, that ends up becoming about two, two and a half percent of the vote," Zeldin said. "That could be a difference between winning and losing. So this really is a 62 county campaign."
Top Photo: Zeldin speaking while Bill Campbell, Chapin's director of business listens. Bottom: Bill Klegar, VP of operations, gives a tour to Assemblyman Steve Hawley and Zeldin. CEO Jim Campell is at the right in the background.