Republicans Back Astorino For Governor
Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino was officially designated the Republican candidate for governor on Thursday, taking on a well-funded and well-known incumbent in a Democratic heavy state.
Despite the long odds Astorino faces, Republicans point to his success in a Democratic-heavy county where he has won two terms by wide margins each time.
Astorino, 47, took the stage at the Republican state convention being held in his home county this morning alongside wife and children to Pharrell’s “Happy.”
Before Astorino spoke, a video played that opened with Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s remarks about “extreme conservatives” candidates not having a place in New York, with the theme from “Halloween” played over it.
Delegates at the convention booed when a black-and-white photo of Cuomo, reminiscent of “1984”, appeared on a video screen.
In his speech, Astorino took Cuomo to task for not doing enough to strip away mandated state spending by Albany as well as the size of state government.
“New York government couldn’t help but stick its nose into everything — to tax everything, regulate everything, control everything,” Astorino said. “It layered on regulations like coats of paint on a ship. Even the finest vessel afloat will succumb to the sea when it’s weighed down enough.”
After knocking the implementation of the Common Core standards in New York schools, Astorino pledged to create an education-tax credit for contributions to private and parochial schools, a measure that is being debated in Albany this legislative session.
Astorino also pledged to impose term limits on state elected officials, as well as the governor’s office.
And he promoted his own record in Westchester County, saying that he “trusted the voters of Westchester to stand by me” while he governed.
“Westchester spends less today than it did five years ago,” Astorino said. “Yes, our budget is smaller now than when I took office. We’ve saved Westchester taxpayers more than $100 million by consolidating services and departments, cutting waste, and reducing overhead.”
Democrats have already started to pounce on Astorino’s socially conservative views on abortion and same-sex marriage.
His opposition to an affordable housing settlement agreed to by his Democratic predecessor, Andy Spano, was the subject of a pair of early April TV ads blasting his position.
Still Astorino, insists that won’t be liability in his campaign statewide.
“We’ll meet the federal bureaucrats in court, and we’ll face down Governor Cuomo in the court of public opinion,” Astorino said. “I will not let faceless bureaucrats in Washington make decisions for our communities — not in Westchester, not in Nassau, not anywhere in the State of New York.”
Astorino, who announced his candidacy earlier this winter, is yet to unveil any fundraising figures for his campaign, which are due in July.
Cuomo in January reported having more than $33 million cash on hand, a daunting figure for any challenger.
Astorino says he will be able to compete competitively against Cuomo on the fundraising field.
However, Cuomo has promoted his own fiscal credentials and courted the state’s business community aggressively, pointing to a cap on property tax increases as well as a new, less generous pension tier.
Cuomo has also held state budgets to increases of less than 2 percent and in March successfully pushed through a package of tax cuts aimed at businesses and property owners.
|Print article||This entry was posted by Nick Reisman on May 15, 2014 at 11:50 am, and is filed under 2014. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|
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