Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino on Wednesday formally entered the race for governor to take on Democratic incumbent Andrew Cuomo.

Astorino made the announcement in a video released online this morning that focuses on the state’s economy.

“I’m announcing my candidacy for governor of New York state because I’m tired of listening to the fairy tale that everything is just great, when it’s just the opposite,” Astorino says in the video. “I’m tired of watching New York’s decline. Living in New York shouldn’t sound like a prison sentence, but that’s too often what you hear today.”

The six-minute video featuring Astorino talking directly into the camera also takes Cuomo to task for “demonizing law-abiding gun owners” and pushing a plan that would let prison inmates access to higher education.

Astorino vowed to end “Cuomo’s Common Core” and give local schools more control over their education standards. He also promised to push for more charter schools, a day after Cuomo appeared at a pro-charter schools rally in Albany.

Astorino accuses Cuomo of “protecting” Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver following a spate of sexual harassment scandals in the chamber by not calling for the longtime speaker’s resignation.

And he blasted the governor for not making a decision on the controversial natural gas extraction process known as hydrofracking.

He also touts his own Westchester County record, where he notes he was re-elected in November.

“There’s a reason why Westchester has the highest credit rating in New York, a higher rating than the state itself,” Astorino says in the video (the county’s bond rating was recently downgraded). “And there’s a reason why Westchester has created more private sector jobs than anywhere in the state of New York.”

The video is the prelude to a statewide kick-off campaign.

On Thursday, Astorino will be in the Bronx and later Buffalo, where he’ll appear alongside Rep. Chris Collins, who at one point considered running for governor himself.

On Friday, Astotrino will tour the upstate cities of Rochester, Syracuse and Albany.

A note on the schedule says he will be available for Spanish-language media.

Now in his second term, Astorino last reported $1 million in his campaign account, though he has been fundraising across the state since the start of the year.
Cuomo in January reported $33 million in cash on hand.

At the same time, the Republican has little statewide name recognition and will run against a governor with a well-known Democratic name who is known for hard-charging campaigning.

Already, NARAL Pro-Choice New York in a statement knocked Astorino’s conservative stance on abortion, while an environmental group took him to task for his fracking stance.

Nevertheless, the state party has been enthusiastic about an Astorino candidacy, even as mogul Donald Trump made noise about a possible run that so far has not materialized.

The hope is that Astorino will be able to mount a more traditional statewide campaign than the 2010 effort from businessman Carl Paladino, who was defeated by Cuomo in a landslide.

Republican Chairman Ed Cox, who gave Astorino’s county executive campaign a maximum contribution in December, in a statement said, “Goliath meet David.”