A woman protesting Gov. Kathy Hochul (D-NY) learned Saturday how inflamed passions are in the race for the Empire State’s governor.
The as-yet unidentified woman told an independent photographer the incident started when someone took her sign, according to a video posted to Twitter. The sign included pictures of Hochul and other Democrats with the caption, “Vote Them Out.”
An independent journalist identifying as Viral News NY captured part of the altercation with the woman. In the footage from the indie journalist, a bearded man in a plaid short-sleeve shirt and shorts can be seen with his hands around the woman’s neck.
The obviously irate man seems to cause a look of pain to appear on the woman’s face as she is being asphyxiated by the taller heavier individual.
In a video posted to Twitter, the mild-mannered protester — shown with her sign — explains that a heavyset woman ripped her sign away from her. She said she believes it was a woman but acknowledged it may have been a man.
“I was here holding my sign, and … peaceful protest against, you know, Gov. Hochul, and a woman — a very large, heavyset woman, I’m assuming, you know, might have been a man — came and took my sign,” the woman said in a different video.
“As I was trying to retrieve my sign, there was another man that came and choked me, and there were two other people that were coming and preventing me from trying to get my sign.”
Crystal Hudson, a Democratic councilwoman representing Prospect Heights in Brooklyn, was seen tangling with the woman who seemed to shove the lawmaker at one point, according to a New York Post report.
When the protester tried to retrieve her sign, the bearded man began choking her, she said in the Twitter video.
Afterwards, the obviously intimidated woman tries to get past the man who choked her. He seemed to block her path, so she reversed course and tried to pass him on the other side. Another large man in civilian clothes moved into the space she was trying to occupy. It seems likely that the man was part of a Hochul security detail that raises a question about whether the man seen choking the woman was part of the governor’s security detail.
The incumbent Democrat was in Manhattan for a rally in the closing days of the race for the governor’s job. Hochul was promoted from lieutenant governor to her present job when former Gov. Andrew Cuomo resigned in disgrace.
The 24-point polling lead she enjoyed early in the campaign has shrunk significantly since then. RealClear Politics shows poll averages give Hochul a six percent lead.
Republican challenger Lee Zeldin has hammered Hochul hard about being soft on crime and a worsening economy. She was also Andrew Cuomo’s number two when the former governor forced nursing homes in New York to accept COVID-19 positive patients. Hochul faces continued ill will for her part in the perceived death of loved ones in nursing homes and the coverup afterward.
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