By Ethan Stark-Miller
U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) today doubled down on his campaign’s law and order messaging by naming NYPD Deputy Inspector Alison Esposito as his preferred pick for lieutenant governor in his bid for the Republican gubernatorial nomination.
Zeldin – the presumptive nominee for both the Republican and Conservative Parties – made his announcement in front of NYPD headquarters at 1 Police Plaza.
“Deputy Inspector Alison Esposito is a fighter who has served a long time here at the NYPD and has instilled fear in the hearts of criminals everywhere,” Zeldin said. “It is exciting news for New York State, that Alison is now willing to bring her fighting spirit, vision, ideas, and energy to the state capital.”
Esposito is currently the commanding officer of Brooklyn’s 70th Precinct, which covers Flatbush, Ditmas Park and Midwood. She’s a 24-year veteran of the department and the daughter of retired NYPD Chief Michael Esposito.
Over her years on the force, Esposito has been assigned to the NYPD Anti-Crime, Emergency Services and Gang units in Manhattan, the Bronx and Brooklyn. She will take a leave of absence from the NYPD while running for office, said Zeldin campaign spokesperson Kate Vincentz.
Esposito said she’s running for lieutenant governor to counteract progressive criminal justice policies like cash bail reform at the state level and the Less is More Act – which was signed into law by former President Donald Trump – at the national level. Because both she and Zeldin believe these policies are responsible for the rise in violent crime in recent years.
“Time and time again, we’ve heard politicians talk about what they’re going to do to fight crime,” Esposito said. “Well I’ve actually done it and I’m not slowing down now. My job was to protect the innocent and to keep the people of the City of New York safe…now my job is to keep the people of the State of New York safe.”
In a statement, New York GOP Chairman Nick Langworthy endorsed Esposito, drawing a clear distinction between her and current Lt. Gov. Brian Benjamin.
“There is no clearer contrast for voters than the choice between corrupt Democrat LG Brian Benjamin, who has made a career out of attacking police, calling for defunding them and enacting the dangerous bail reform laws, and our candidate, Commanding Officer of the NYPD Alison Esposito who has put on the uniform and worked every day to protect New Yorkers,” Langworth said. “Voters are demanding change and this is the ticket that will deliver it.”
This story first appeared on PoliticsNY.com.