A Problem to Fix: GOP House Candidate Alison Esposito Calls Out Antisemitism on Campus 

Read the full article here or below.

Alison Esposito, a former member of the NYPD, came quite close to becoming New York’s lieutenant governor following the 2022 election. Now, she’s running to represent New York’s 18th Congressional District, against Democratic Rep. Pat Ryan. Esposito spoke with Townhall about the “unacceptable” encampments from pro-Hamas on college campuses, with many taking place in New York, and even in the district she’s hoping to represent.

When asked about handling antisemitism and pro-Hamas protests on campus, Esposito was clear that she sees a problem to fix, specifically an “opportunity” to “fix what’s wrong,” something she has “a background in dealing” with. When calling out the agitators who caused Columbia University to cancel its commencement ceremony, Esposito reminded that students were also denied a normal senior year of high school and graduation due to COVID lockdowns. 

“They’re being robbed of [commencement] once again, because we are allowing law and order to fall by the wayside. We are allowing common sense to fall by the wayside and these kids are suffering for it,” she pointed out.

Esposito also weighed over social media, when the NYPD was finally called in to deal with the situation at Columbia. It wasn’t merely a matter of peaceful protests, despite what some on the far-left claimed, but involved unsanctioned encampments, an intimidating atmosphere, and agitators holding custodians hostage.

While Esposito reacted swiftly to support the police, calling the move to send the NYPD in “long overdue,” she also told Townhall that “I don’t want to see a need for the police to have to do that,” as she emphasized “protections” for students. “What’s happening is we have an entire movement always hijacked by nefarious individuals,” she said, also speaking about her role as an NYPD officer when the 2020 protests took place during the day after the death of George Floyd, while rioting went on at night.

She also drew a clear distinction between people simply protesting. “You kind of almost applaud the idea that they want to help,” Esposito offered about students speaking out about the Israel-Hamas conflict, despite them being, as she emphasized, “misinformed.” Thus, “if they wanted to go into a campus circle and stage a sit-in, or whatever, and make their voices heard, that’s one thing. But then, when you’re commandeering property, when you’re breaking and entering, when you’re holding people hostage, when you’re resorting to violence, where you’re breaking our laws, where you’re stopping ambulances and stopping traffic from getting to a location, you’re creating a dangerous society, now police have to come in.” Esposito made clear.

Esposito also knows who she places the blame with: college administrators for not being the “adult in the room.”

“What should have been negotiated very early on was the protests at the college should have been dealt with because you always have students that are overzealous.” She also made clear “you also have to be the adult in the room and that’s what we saw it not happen in the colleges, where the students could take over a building and demand vegan food and call it humanitarian aid.”

The district includes Vassar College and SUNY New Paltz, where Esposito pointed out professors were signing petitions condemning the police involvement. 

“Once [the protesters] pushed it,” Esposito suggested, the university administrators “should have just been very clear” about shutting down the encampments, as well as threatening suspension, not allowing students to graduate, and making clear “your entire four years is going away” to illustrate “this is unacceptable.”

Had administrators acted like “the adults in the room,” Esposito insisted, we’d be seeing “the students leave really quickly when it’s real and it’s confronted and you have ramifications.” Especially with the use of outside agitators, though, we are “living in a society right now where criminals are not held accountable for their actions,” a problem seen throughout the state. 

When it comes to the response from administrators, a recent poll from The Economist/YouGov, which was released last week, found that a plurality of voters (38 percent) and overall respondents (33 percent) believe the college administrators have been “not harsh enough” in their response. When it comes to the police response, a plurality, at 28 percent of registered voters, believe it’s been “about right.”

Should Esposito get elected, she “absolutely” wants to work on combatting antisemitism. Esposito was especially passionate when talking about how she had visited Israel weeks before the October 7 attack perpetrated by Hamas last year. Such a trip she shared no has made her even more of an “absolute fighter” in standing up against antisemitism. 

Just as other New York Republicans have communicated, Esposito also spoke of a connection between the terrorist attack on September 11 against the United States, and the one on October 7 against Israel. Immigration also came up as an issue, given the known terrorists who have been found at both the northern and southern border.

“The farther we get from September 11, the closer we are to September 10. And this is what people are not seeing and this is what the people of Israel are dealing with right now,” Esposito offered. She also shared “part of what I intend to do when I get into Congress is to battle terrorism,” reminding that “the destruction of Hamas is necessary” and that Hamas leaders “promised many more October 7,” which “can’t happen.” 

When discussing the importance of combatting antisemitism, but also the tactics behind it, Esposito went for an encouraging tone. “We have to stop and we have to concentrate more on what unites us and less on what divides us. We are Americans first, you know, and we should stand together. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you live, what gender you are, what your skin color is, or what God you pray to. We are Americans and we need to remember that, we need to remember that we stand under a united flag, and we have to root out terrorism in all its forms at home and abroad,” she said.

While she is certain she’ll be “a fighter for that,” Esposito can’t say the same for her opponent. She regards Ryan as being “really flat-footed and weak.” While he may try to be someone who “talks a moderate game,” Esposito said about Ryan, “he talks out of both sides of his mouth.” Ryan ultimately voted for a foreign aid package last month that is supposed to support Israel–though it also includes aid for Ukraine–he’s voted against aid for Israel before with standalone bills.

“At this time in history, we can’t afford leaders that are spineless. We can’t afford leaders that lack the backbone and the tenacity to understand that our greatest ally in the Middle East is Israel,” Esposito made clear. 

Ryan has only the slightest advantage, with a “Lean Democrat” rating from Cook Political Report. He first came into office when he narrowly won a special election in August 2022 for the 19th Congressional District. 

Esposito, who was running mate to former Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin as he ran for governor and came close to winning in 2022, also pointed out that the Zeldin-Esposito ticket won the district that year. Even with redistricting, Esposito is still feeling hopeful about this “competitive race.” 

“So we made a commitment to these New Yorkers,” Esposito said, as she shared the concerns from New Yorkers who feel the need to leave the state. “And just because we came up just short [in the gubernatorial race], doesn’t change the commitment, so I had to figure out how best to serve,” she shared about how her decision to run “made sense,” especially since she herself lives in the district. 

As someone who is “a cop, not a politician,” Esposito looks forward to and is “committed to going into the areas you traditionally do not see Republicans in,” including where the colleges are. 


Alison is committed to harnessing the energy of the commonsense wave and creating a better way of life for New York families and citizens



By participating, you agree to the privacy policy & terms for recurring autodialed campaign & donation messages from Alison Esposito to the phone number you provide. No consent required to buy. Msg & data rates may apply. Text STOP to opt-out. Text HELP for assistance.