Former two-term Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino was in Plattsburgh Tuesday as he kicked off his second run for governor of New York.
Astorino is barnstorming upstate and stopped in front of Plattsburgh City Hall Tuesday afternoon.
“I’m here in Plattsburgh to announce that I’m officially running for governor of New York state," Astorino said. "And I’m excited to do that. It is a great state. It is a big state. The North Country deserves better than what it’s been getting out of Albany. And I’m in it to win it. And we will shock the world come next November.”
Astorino ran for governor in 2014, losing to Governor Andrew Cuomo by 14 points, and says New York’s economic status hasn’t changed.
“We unfortunately are in dead last in all the wrong categories: in economic outlook, in job losses, in people leaving this state," Astorino said. "Our budget is so bloated and unfortunately to feed the beast they keep having to add taxes which they do. That chases more people away and we just continue that death spiral. So I ran in 2014. We gave Cuomo the race of his life. And you know what? The political climate is going to be right. The issues are on our side and we’re going to have a very bold agenda on how to make this state great again and how to get it off of its knees and back on its feet.”
The Republican lists the economy, ethics and corruption, education, energy and the environment, social unrest and divisiveness as key issues. He says Cuomo is extraordinarily vulnerable in the 2022 election if the embattled Democrat seeks a fourth term.
“There’s no question with all the corruption, with the federal investigations into the nursing home deaths and cover up, into the Tappan Zee Bridge scandal which is the Cuomo Bridge down in Westchester-Rockland," Astorino said. "You know the whole COVID situation has been a failure I think in many ways. You know with the impeachment proceedings potentially, with the sexual harassment. So I think politically he’s in peril. But it honestly doesn’t matter to me whether it’s Andrew Cuomo or just another Democrat that’s going to double down on the same bad policies that have put this state in the situation it’s in. I’m running as much against Andrew Cuomo as I am against the failed policies and the corruption of New York. And it can be fixed. I did it in Westchester and I’ll do it in New York.”
Among other Republicans in the field: Long Island Congressman Lee Zeldin and Lewis County Sheriff Michael Carpinelli. Considering a campaign are Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro, Andrew Giuliani, Central New York Congressman John Katko, and former Erie County Executive Joel Giambra.
North Country Congresswoman Elise Stefanik also expressed interest before her latest leadership opportunity in the House. Astorino says any Republican is more qualified than Governor Cuomo and his other fellow Democrats.
“I think that I’m the most qualified because I’ve governed," he said. "I’ve been an executive in a very large county. I’ve dealt with a deficit. I’ve dealt with taxes. I’ve dealt with a Hepatitis-A outbreak so public health. And I’ve dealt with big issues that worked and built an economy. And I did it in a bipartisan way.”
Astorino first announced his campaign Tuesday morning on WOR and WABC radio. He was in Albany before coming to Plattsburgh and then traveled to Watertown and Utica. He is scheduled to visit Syracuse, Rochester and Buffalo on Wednesday.