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Astorino Officially Nominated At GOP Convention

Matt Ryan

Rob Astorino accepted the Republican nomination for governor at the state party convention in Westchester Thursday, saying Governor Andrew Cuomo hasn’t lived up to his promises to improve the state.

Rob Astorino was nominated in his home county of Westchester, where he is the County Executive. He painted a grim picture of the state, saying New York is 50th out of the 50 states in high taxes, economic outlook, and corruption. And he blames it all on bad government.

“What have our politicians done? They’ve nearly ruined a once great state,” Astorino said. “The statistics scream incompetence.”

Astorino says Governor Cuomo has failed to deliver on promises to bring the state back, and the GOP nominee says now it should be his turn to try. Astorino says he knows the state can’t immediately be number one in attracting business, but could perhaps become the most competitive state in the Northeast.

He says he would repeal the gun control laws known as the SAFE Act, and championed by Cuomo, and get rid of the new national Common Core educational standards.  

“As governor, I’ll get rid of Cuomo’s Common Core that is robbing our children of their natural love of learning,” he said, to cheers from the audience.

And he says he’d authorize hydrofracking in the state, which he refers to as natural gas exploration. After his speech, Astorino derided Governor Cuomo’s hesitation on fracking, which has included a year and a half ongoing health review. He points out that President Obama, as well as New York’s two Democratic Senators, Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, support the practice.

“You’ve got the governor continuously sitting on his hands, and not making a decision because he’s afraid of Yoko Ono or whomever,” said Astorino.

The republican candidate is the underdog in the race. He’s severely underfunded, compared to Governor Cuomo’s $33 million war chest. But he says he believes there is a path to victory.

“I’m not giving up any votes,” said Astorino, who said he plans to travel to all regions and neighborhoods.

Astorino says the fact that Cuomo is already on TV with negative ads against him is a sign that the race is competitive.

The GOP candidate says if he wins, he’ll impose term limits on himself. He says he would leave after two elections.

Karen DeWitt is Capitol Bureau chief for New York State Public Radio, a network of public radio stations in New York state. She has covered state government and politics for the network since 1990.