WHITE PLAINS - Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino announced today that he'll run for governor and challenge incumbent Gov. Andrew Cuomo in November.
The 46-year-old Mount Pleasant Republican posted a video news release on his website today. In the video, he said "I'm tired of listening to the fairy tale everyone is great when it's just the opposite."
The Republican was elected county executive twice in Westchester, where Democrats heavily outnumber Republicans, but winning the state is a different story. He faces an uphill battle not only in name recognition but also in fundraising and in the polls. Cuomo right now has more than $33 million in the bank and is already running television ads.
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During his six-minute video, Astorino scoffed at the notion he can't win. Astorino took aim at a long list of what he believes are failures under Cuomo's first term in office. "New York is wrong on all things under this governor, and we are paying a price for it. We have [the] highest taxes in [the] country, worse business climate, most corrupt government, and second highest electric rates. Since Cuomo [has] been governor, we have lost more residents [than] any other state. More than 400,000 New Yorkers left to go [to] jobs elsewhere."
Astorino also said that if he wins, he'll eliminate the Common Core standards in schools.
Westchester's Democratic Chairman Reginald Lafayette spoke out on behalf of the governor, issuing this statement, "Astorino has been misleading the public for four years, dividing the community on many issues. Voters across New York will reject this type of extremism. Andrew Cuomo on the other hand has a proven record of success on things like bringing an on-time budget and marriage equality across the state."
The latest polls have Astorino trailing by as much as 34 percent. But Astorino has predicted he can win enough voters upstate and in the suburbs to overcome the heavy Democratic vote in New York City.
For Rob Astorino's gubernatorial announcement, watch the clip to the left or click News 12 Extra on Optimum TV channel 612.