Leaked Supreme Court draft opinion on Roe v. Wade is paving the way for a battle on another front in the New York gubernatorial race

NEW YORK – The race for governor was always going to be an uphill battle this year, but the likelihood that Supreme Court will strike down federal abortion rights laws gave both sides fresh ammunition for the fall campaign.

Governor Kathy Hochul called a press conference on Tuesday to announce the selection of Upstate Representative Antonio Delgado as the new Lieutenant Governor and put the defilement of former running mate Brian Benjamin’s Indictment in the rearview mirror, but before I got to that, she said, “I want to address an issue first that is deeply, deeply disturbing.”

As CBS2’s Marcia Kramer reported, the governor addressed an issue that could have an even bigger effect on his re-election campaign, the likelihood of the High Court overturning Roe v. Wade. The governor has made it clear that she and her running mate will staunchly defend the right of women to have abortions in New York.

“Let’s be clear: we don’t play defense, we play attack,” Hochul said. “My message to those who would deny this fundamental right, this fundamental right: you don’t want to bother with us.”

READ MORE: Governor Kathy Hochul says she will debate main challengers, but no word on where or when

And since her two main Democratic opponents, Tom Suozzi and Jumaane Williams, also support women’s right to choose, it was clear that she was sending a message to her GOP opponents – candidate Lee Zeldin and his main challengers, Andrew Giuliani and Rob Astorino, who are ardently pro-life.

Democrats and Republicans immediately jumped into battle.

“Republicans are going to have to defend their record of voting against choice. They’re also going to have to defend their record of supporting President Trump, the person who toppled the Supreme Court by appointing anti-choice justices. They own it said Christine Quinn, chair of the Democratic Party’s executive committee.

Republican consultant Jessica Proud says it’s just fear because New York has a tough reproductive rights law that legalizes abortions

“I think when voters go to the voting booth in November, they’ll be voting on the issues that matter to them – inflation, skyrocketing gas prices, crime, all the issues that Democrats have failed miserably,” Proud said.

READ MORE: NY GOP Convention: Rep. Lee Zeldin Wins Gubernatorial Nomination, Says of Gov. Kathy Hochul: ‘You’re Gonna Get Fired Next.’

Political pundit David Birdsell said gubernatorial candidates from both parties would try to capitalize on the issue, but “if you’re a Democrat right now and you’re watching this game, you must like the way it looks, like if it could be trendy, although anything can happen by November.”

Democrats will try to argue that a Republican governor could try to overturn the state’s abortion laws. As difficult as it may be if the legislature remains Democratic, it could still become a problem.

Officials are also waiting to see whether the gubernatorial primary will still be held on June 28 or will be moved to August with the congressional and state Senate races.

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