Ending months of speculation about his political future, Republican Rob Astorino makes it official; he will challenge Andrew Cuomo for governor. The Westchester County executive made the announcement over the internet. Time Warner Cable News reporter Zack Fink has the story on the dark horse candidate for governor.
Facing a shortage of campaign cash and limited statewide name recognition, Rob Astorino officially announced his candidacy using a low-key rollout.
Astorino said, "I'm Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino. And I'm announcing my candidacy for governor of New York State because I'm tired of the fairy tale that everything is just great, when it's just the opposite."
Astorino won re-election this past fall in the Westchester, where Democrats hold a plurality. So far, he is the only Republican to officially enter the race.
Critics of Cuomo say New York continues to lose jobs, which is forcing people to leave the state.
Astorino added, "Since Andrew Cuomo has been governor, New York has lost more of its citizens than any other state. More than 400,000 New Yorkers have thrown in the towel and left for a lower cost of living or job opportunities elsewhere."
Astorino is facing a significant financial hurdle as Cuomo has amassed $33 million in his campaign war chest.
According to his last filing, Astorino only had about million dollars.
Keith Wright, Democratic state co-chair said, "I guess the Republicans had to find someone. Anyone. Someone with a pulse."
New Yorkers have not voted out a sitting first-term governor since 1958. Cuomo won his first term in 2010 against Buffalo-area businessman Carl Paladino. Cuomo won that race handily by nearly 30 percentage points.
Astorino will likely face a coordinated campaign against him from abortion-rights advocates.
"We know that he is anti-choice. He has said that repeatedly. And he not only used to the bully pulpit to do that. He used his position as Westchester County executive to veto legislation that would have prevented access to reproductive health facilities," said Andrea Miller, NARAL pro-choice.
Astorino is by no means guaranteed the Republican nomination. Real estate mogul Donald trump is flirting with a run, and even Paladino hasn't ruled out a second campaign. The Republican convention will be held in May in Astorino's home county of Westchester where a candidate will officially be selected.
Astorino's Announcement Video