The state Democratic Committee on Monday unveiled a pair of attack ads blasting Republican candidate for governor Rob Astorino on his ongoing fight with the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Astorino’s long-standing battle with HUD is a complex one, but in essence stems from a dispute over the county enforcing a federal housing settlement.

The subtext, of course, is that Gov. Andrew Cuomo is a former HUD secretary in the Clinton administration.

In one ad titled “Contempt” Astorino is blasted for being “the ultraconservative Republican choice for governor of New York.”

Both ads accuse him of being “So far right, he’s wrong for New York.”

It’s worth noting the ads were released and paid for by the state party, not the Cuomo re-election campaign.

Cuomo himself — up until this point — has largely avoided any reference to his likely Republican challenger this fall.

The state Democratic Committee, has it had in 2010, was the surrogate force for Cuomo attacking both Republican Rick Lazio, and later Carl Paladino, while Cuomo’s campaign remained largely above the fray.

Nevertheless, this time around Cuomo as governor and the state’s top elected Democrat controls the state committee outright.

At the same time, it’s also worth noting this is late April, nearly three weeks before Republican formally even select a preferred candidate for governor at their state convention.

Astorino remains unknown to most voters, and defining him now in television attack ads as his campaign gets out of the gate appears to be the clear play here.

Update: Astorino spokesman Jessica Proud responded.

“We are so glad that Governor Cuomo is bringing this up,” she said. “It begs the question: Where has he been for the past four years while HUD has been wrongly attacking Westchester communities, including Mr. Cuomo’s? Does former HUD Secretary Cuomo think New Castle violates civil rights?”