ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) — Republican candidate for Governor Lee Zeldin visited Elmira today to speak about the upcoming election.

18 News spoke to Zeldin outside of Anne’s Pancakes in Elmira’s Southside. The campaign stop was a part of Zeldin’s trip through the Southern Tier. At the event, he was joined by his running mate Alison Esposito, Joe Pinion, who is running for US Senate against Chuck Schumer, and the special general election winner for U.S. House New York District 23 Joe Sempolinski.

At the event, Zeldin criticized N.Y. Governor Kathy Hochul on several topics including New York state’s recent population loss. “Clearly Kathy Hochul is somebody who only wants to be the governor for people who agree with her. Right now people are fleeing the state in droves.” Zeldin continued, “New York leads the entire nation in population loss because people are hitting their breaking point, they feel like their wallets their safety their freedom, and the quality of their kid’s education are under attack.

Zeldin also spoke about issues he feels central to the Southern Tier, such as New York State’s 2014 ban on hydrofracking. “We can have a debate about why it’s so important for the state to reverse its ban on the safe extraction of natural gas, and why we need to be approving new pipeline applications in Albany.”

The gubernatorial candidate also spoke at an event to continue the push for the appeal of the Humane Alternatives to Solitary Confinement (HALT) Act as a part of his campaign tour in the Southern Tier.