Lee Zeldin, a republican candidate for Governor of New York, was allegedly attacked by 43-year-old David Jakubonis during a campaign stop on Thursday.
Jakubonis allegedly tried to stab Zeldin with a sharp object while saying “you’re done,” to the gubernatorial candidate. This is according to Zeldin, who recounted the incident on Twitter.
In the tweet, Zeldin predicts that the attacker will be “instantly released under [New York] law” and he was indeed correct.
Zakubonis was charged with second-degree attempted assault but was released from custody with no bail hours after the alleged attack. Under New York law — in place since 2020 — judges cannot set bail for “nonviolent felonies” and since it was “attempted” assault, that’s how it’s categorized.
Zeldin is running against incumbent Kathy Hochul, who took over when former NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo resigned amid sexual misconduct allegations.
Zeldin has been previously very critical of Hochul’s public safety and crime policies and is running on a platform backing law enforcement and stricter crime law.
Hochul responded to the attack on Twitter, saying “I condemn this violent behavior in the strongest terms possible.” However, she did not address the fact that the alleged attacker was back on the streets within hours based on current democratic policies.
Other republican candidates for office in New York weighed-in on the incident and subsequent release of the suspect. Nick Langworthy, a candidate for Congress, wrote “Only in @KathyHochul’s New York could a maniac violently attack a candidate for governor and then be released without bail.”
Alison Esposito, who is running for Lietentant Gov. alongside Zeldin, wrote “The attack on @LeeZeldin at our rally tonight highlights exactly why I am ALL IN to help him secure our streets.”
New York is one of 36 states that is holding a gubernatorial election in 2022 and the voting will take place during midterms on November 8.