When pressed by her Republican challenger, Gov. Kathy Hochul (D.) in Tuesday's New York gubernatorial debate dismissed concerns about her state's crime surge.
"I don't know why that's so important to you," Hochul said when Rep. Lee Zeldin (R., N.Y.) pushed her to speak on crime and cashless bail. "Anyone who commits a crime under our laws … has consequences."
Kathy Hochul's response to me tonight when I spoke about how we need to lock up criminals:
"I don’t know why that's so important to you"?
— Lee Zeldin (@leezeldin) October 26, 2022
Crime ranks as the top issue among likely voters in the gubernatorial election, according to recent polling from Quinnipiac University. Twenty-eight percent of respondents listed it as the most urgent issue, followed by inflation at 20 percent.
The news comes after Hochul on Monday downplayed the crime wave in her state, calling it a few "high-profile instances" that caused a "sense of fear." Yet crime in New York City is up 15.2 percent in the last year, according to recent NYPD data.
During the debate, Hochul responded to the crime concern by saying there is a need for gun reform.
"There is no crime-fighting plan if it doesn't include guns," she said.