By Neil A. Carousso
White Plains, NY — In the days leading up to Election Day, most polls showed New York’s gubernatorial race to be a landslide victory for Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo over Republican candidate and Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino. Among supporters, who were at Astorino’s headquarters at the Crowne Plaza in White Plains, there was an understanding that the county executive was an underdog, but many were hopeful that his campaign will influence the next four years.
“Regardless, [of the result] he has run a really great campaign,” said Ed Cox, chairman of the New York Republican State Committee, of Astorino’s campaign for governor. “He has proved himself to be the best, statewide leader of a ticket that I’ve ever seen,” added Cox.
Astorino’s main focus in his campaign was the economy, one of the biggest issues in this year’s midterm elections. Astorino seeks to launch an aggressive, pro-growth and pro-jobs economic agenda to boost New York’s economy by initiating reforms to an antiquated tax code and regulatory system. The Westchester County Executive aimed to reduce the cost of doing business in the Empire State.
“The growth rate in New York last year was 0.7 percent. People are leaving, jobs are leaving, it’s the highest taxed [state] in America,” Astorino said to Sean Hannity last week on Fox News.
A real concern is New Yorkers leaving due to hindering growth and high cost of living. Mr. Cuomo has admitted to large taxes due to large governmental spending, but the Democrat vows to reduce spending in his second term.
Governor Cuomo won re-election with 53.87 percent of the votes with 99.5 percent of election districts reporting. He is the first democrat since his father, Mario Cuomo, to win re-election in New York.
Astorino, who was watching the results with his family in a suite upstairs, came down to the ballroom at the White Plains hotel to give his concession speech. Joined by his wife Sheila and his three children, he spoke to his supporters.
“Today was a day for politics. Tomorrow is a day for governing and better governing is what New York needs,” said Astorino, who said he called Governor Cuomo to congratulate him and wish him the best in his second term in Albany. “Dramatic reform is needed. I hope Mr. Cuomo has heard some of the cries of New Yorkers this campaign season – I know I have in all 62 counties in our state,” Astorino said.