“Best candidate to win general election, rescue/rebuild New York once in office”
Former two-term Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino today announced that he’s officially running for Governor of New York State, saying he’s best equipped to not only win the general election in 2022, but also to implement the bold reforms and change needed to rescue and rebuild the state.
“I’ve been overwhelmed and humbled by the outpouring of support from grassroots activists, donors and just regular people I see at the diner or hear from on social media — all encouraging me to run,” said Astorino. “The conversation is often the same — ‘I love New York but I have one foot out the door. I don’t know how much more I can take. We need to get rid of this guy and save our state. Please run.’”
Astorino ran for governor in 2014 and despite being outspent nearly 8-1, he defied public polls and ended up giving Andrew Cuomo the closest election of his seven statewide campaigns, by far, holding Cuomo to only 54% of the vote, winning 46 of 62 counties and winning the state outside of New York City.
Astorino said that while today everyone is eager to call out Cuomo’s corruption and incompetence, he was a relatively lonely voice doing so in 2014.
“Cuomo was under federal investigation then, he had scandals then, we were falling behind the rest of the country then, but not everyone was ready to accept what was right in front of them — even some top elected Republicans supported Cuomo openly or secretly,” said Astorino. “Predictably, New York is in a worse situation today.”
Picking up on a theme from his 2014 run, Astorino said New York led the nation in all the wrong categories and was last or next to last in all the good categories.
“In normal years, New York leads the nation in highest taxes, government corruption, worst business climate and losing our people to other states. This past year, we’ve also led the nation in Covid deaths and job loss,” said Astorino. “And despite being bailed out by the federal government, Cuomo and state legislators still raised taxes and still went on a wild spending spree, passing a budget this year that increased spending by a staggering and unaffordable $18 billion. New York now spends more money annually than more populated states Texas and Florida combined. Just think about that for a minute. It’s crazy. Especially when you realize how healthy the economies of those states are, how fast they’re growing and the fact that neither has a state income tax.”
Astorino said he would be offering voters an unmistakably bold and transformative agenda to clean up Albany, grow the economy, make the state more affordable and provide all families with schooling options for their children — not just those with the financial means to do so.
“The state is hemorrhaging people, jobs and hope. Thousands of kids haven’t been in a classroom in over a year. You don’t just offer a band-aid approach in this scenario. You have to be honest and you have to be bold, and I will be. I’ve done it before,” said Astorino. Astorino was twice elected Westchester County Executive by 13-point margins in a county with almost three times as many Democrats as Republicans. He won the Hispanic vote, captured more than a quarter of the Black vote and won more than 20% of Democrats. While in office, Astorino built a bipartisan coalition of legislators that reduced property taxes, held spending flat, created over 44,000 jobs and earned the state’s highest credit rating among counties. He also reached ground-breaking labor contracts, negotiated major public-private partnerships for Playland Amusement Park, Westchester County Airport and the $1.2 billion North 60 Biotech complex. Astorino also gained national attention by standing up to and defeating HUD in its attempt to dismantle local zoning.
Before taking office as County Executive on Jan. 1, 2010, Astorino had a long career in the TV and radio industry. He was the station manager and program director of The Catholic Channel on Sirius-XM Satellite Radio and hosted a weekly radio show from St. Patrick's Cathedral with the Cardinal-Archbishop of New York. In 2001, he helped launch Disney’s ESPN Radio in New York and became the station's senior producer, as well as executive producer of "The Michael Kay Show."
Astorino earned a BA degree in Communications at Fordham University, where he also minored in Spanish and Political Science. In 2001, he studied in Barcelona, Spain, and received a Spanish Immersion Diploma from the Enforex School of International Studies and speaks Spanish to this day.
Astorino is a lifelong resident of Westchester. He and his wife, Sheila, are the parents of three children: Sean, 17, Kiley, 16, Ashlin, 11, and two dogs, Bella and Luna.