County Executive Rob Astorino announced today his candidacy for governor of New York State, confirming widespread speculation that he had gubernatorial ambitions and would vie for the Republican nomination in the next State election.
The announcement came in the form of a 6 1/2-minute video released this morning. In it, he condemned what he said was Governor Cuomo’s failure to stop the flight of businesses and citizens to less costly pastures, like Alabama, Texas, and North Dakota. “This is where New Yorkers are moving to escape the crazy cost of living and killer property taxes,” he said.
Astorino said he was “tired of watching New York’s decline” and that “more than 400,000 New Yorkers have thrown in the towel and left for a lower cost of living or job opportunities elsewhere.”
He stands in favor of lower taxes and electricity rates, less regulations, natural gas exploration, and cleaner air quality. On the topic of education—a contentious issue given the unpopularity of the State’s common core standards—Astorino criticized what he called “Cuomo’s common core” and he vowed to “replace it with better standards, teaching, and testing” with local (as opposed to State-level) curriculum control.
Astorino has been elected twice to the County Executive seat, most recently this past November. He is the first republican candidate to formally enter the race for governor.