DeSantis Pulls Out of New York Midterm Fundraiser Over ‘Unforseen Tragedy’

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis pulled out of a high-dollar fundraiser for New York gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin on Sunday due to an “unforeseen tragedy,” according to a spokesperson.

“An unforeseen tragedy forced Governor DeSantis to reschedule his trip to New York,” Zeldin (R-N.Y.) spokeswoman Katie Vincentz told the New York Post. “While we’re rescheduling with Governor DeSantis for a later date, tonight’s fundraiser will proceed and is expected to raise almost a million dollars.”

It’s not clear what the tragedy was. The spokesperson didn’t elaborate.

Earlier this year, DeSantis said that his wife, Casey, is free of cancer—coming months after she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Zeldin, a congressman from Long Island, is running against Democrat Gov. Kathy Hochul, who was named to the position when former Gov. Andrew Cuomo stepped down amid allegations of misconduct that he categorically denied.

In recent days, Hochul has targeted Florida and DeSantis. Several weeks ago, Hochul criticized Florida during a Holocaust memorial event.

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Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.) speaks to media while other impeachment defense team advisors look on, at the Capitol in Washington on Jan. 27, 2020. (Charlotte Cuthbertson/The Epoch Times)

“I just want to say to the 1.77 million Jews who call New York home: Thank you for calling New York home,” the governor said. “Don’t go anywhere or to another state. Florida is overrated … look at the governor.”

When it was announced DeSantis would be heading to New York, state Democratic leaders criticized the move and attacked Zeldin.

“Lee Zeldin and Ron DeSantis are not just any Republicans,” said Democratic Party Chair Jay Jacobs in a recent Zoom call, without elaborating. “They are cut from the same cloth of a far-right fringe who want to roll back fundamental rights and push an extreme agenda on New Yorkers.”

DeSantis is facing his own reelection battle against former Gov. Charlie Crist, a Democrat. However, there has been speculation the governor may mount a run for president in 2024, although DeSantis has frequently declined to comment on the prospect.

Other Republicans who may run include former President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, former UN ambassador Nikki Haley, and Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.)

In a recent CNN interview, Crist, also a former congressman, said that he needs more money to take on DeSantis otherwise the governor will grow too popular and powerful in his state.

“It is the Democrats’ last chance to stop him and it’s going to be a lot cheaper to do it in Florida than it would be in 50 states,” Crist told CNN while repeatedly plugging his campaign website.

The Epoch Times has contacted DeSantis’s campaign for comment.

From The Epoch Times