Lee Zeldin

Lee Zeldin, GOP Frontrunner in NY Governor Race, Says He Had Leukemia

Zeldin says he was diagnosed late last year and was in treatment for months before announcing his bid for governor

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Long Island Rep. Lee Zeldin, widely seen as the frontrunner for the Republican nomination in next year's New York gubernatorial election, acknowledged Saturday that he was diagnosed with leukemia late last year.

In a statement, Zeldin said he was diagnosed last November with early stage chronic myeloid leukemia, for which he immediately began treatment.

"Over the last 9 months, I have achieved complete remission, am expected to live a normal life, and my doctor says I currently have no evidence of this disease in my system," Zeldin said.

He earlier confirmed his diagnosis in a text message to Newsday and to the New York Times.

Zeldin, a conservative and staunch Donald Trump ally, announced his bid for governor in April -- when it seemed he might still be challenging then-incumbent Andrew Cuomo for the job in 2022.

But Cuomo's resignation and the ascendancy of now-Gov. Kathy Hochul shook up the race. Zeldin, an Army veteran and former state senator now in his fourth term in Congress, also faces a primary challenge from Andrew Giuliani, the son of former mayor Rudy Giuliani.

The state GOP has already declared Zeldin its "presumed" nominee, based on a straw poll of county party leaders earlier this summer.

Copyright NBC New York
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