WHITE PLAINS - Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino is firing back at Gov. Andrew Cuomo for a campaign ad that accuses him of violating federal anti-discrimination laws.
The ad, which focuses on the dispute between Astorino and the Department of Housing and Urban Development over affordable housing, says, "Rob Astorino has repeatedly violated federal anti-discrimination laws for years." It was paid for by the New York State Democratic Committee.
Astorino has countered by calling the ad a new low in dirty politics.
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Astorino released his own video Wednesday, saying that he is in full compliance with the federal government's order to build hundreds of affordable housing units in affluent areas. He says he will not let HUD overrule local zoning laws.
Astorino adds that while running for re-election last year, he was endorsed by several prominent African-American clergy members, including the president of the United Black Clergy of Westchester.
"We are not racists,” said Astorino. “We just don't want the government to come in and tell us what communities should be building. It's a big difference."
Astorino has challenged Cuomo to a debate on the issue, saying the allegations are false and Cuomo's position is hypocritical. Gov. Cuomo has yet to respond.
Astorino is expected to become the official GOP nominee at the Republican convention in Westchester next month.