Latimer, Astorino square off in debate in News 12 studios

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YONKERS -

Candidates for Westchester County executive stood their ground on tough issues during a debate inside the News 12 studios Wednesday.

Democratic state Sen. George Latimer is looking to unseat Republican incumbent Rob Astorino in the race.

The debate focused heavily on taxes.

"I'm going to be intelligent about the way I go forward, and I look forward to doing these things without having them raise taxes," Latimer said.

"Well, you just heard the first honest answer he's given in this campaign, he's going to raise taxes," Astorino replied.

Seeking a third term, Astorino has vowed to keep a lid on tax increases. He also continued questioning his opponent's property tax payments on a Rye home owned by his wife.

"This is an issue within his family, everyone has that," he said. "But nobody gets to say no to the tax man, I'm not paying or I'll pay when I want."

Discussions also included airport privatization, attracting new businesses and recreation, but both candidates often argued with each other over how the campaigns have been run.

"The personal attacks are designed to keep your eye off the poor quality record for eight years," Latimer said.

"I honestly don't care about your personal life, that's not part of this campaign. What is part of this campaign is how that affects everybody else," replied Astorino.

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