Once considered a long shot in the New York gubernatorial race, former White House official Andrew Giuliani has stealthily surged into the lead for the June 28 GOP primary.

New York pollster John Zogby called the emergence of the former New York City mayor's son in the No. 1 position remarkable and the product of a bruising battle involving Republican competitors Rep. Lee Zeldin, 2014 nominee Rob Astorino, and upstate millionaire Harry Wilson.

In releasing his latest survey, Zogby said on his website, “In a series of stunning new findings, a Unite NY/John Zogby Strategies poll finds GOP insurgent candidate Andrew Giuliani, son of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, widening his lead over Rep. Lee Zeldin in the party’s gubernatorial primary on June 28.”

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Former President Donald Trump with top aide Andrew Giuliani and Giuliani's wife Zivile Rezgyte. (White House photo courtesy Andrew Giuliani)

The Utica-based Democratic pollster said that Giuliani leads with 35% to Zeldin’s 25%. Astorino is competitive at 17%, while Wilson is at 12%. Another 11% are undecided. It is the latest of a handful of polls showing Giuliani in the driver's seat.

“The race for the Republican nomination for governor is far from over, but both Zeldin and Wilson have carpeted the television airwaves, so the campaign is in earnest. Giuliani has recently campaigned with his father, ‘America’s Mayor’ after 9/11 and is a strong backer of former President Donald Trump,” Zogby said in his analysis.

Zogby told Secrets that while Giuliani, 36, is on the rise and headed to a surprise win, he remains far behind sitting Gov. Kathy Hochul, who leads 54%-35% in a head-to-head match.

Giuliani is the former White House director of the Office of Public Liaison. While he has no elected experience, he has been part of his family’s political business for years.

Zogby told Secrets, “MAGA has a presence in the NYGOP. Plus, Zeldin is not catching on."

In the polling data, Giuliani leads in all parts of the state, especially New York City and the New York City suburbs.

Among his key issues are crime and population loss. In April 2021, he announced his campaign in an interview with Secrets and said, “Whoever ends up winning is going to have to implement the Giuliani playbook on public safety, so who better to do that than a Giuliani?”