GOP candidate for governor says campaign ‘peaking at the right time’

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 25 October 2014 at 12:00 am

Astorino says he will take aim at taxes, SAFE Act, Common Core

Photos by Tom Rivers – Rob Astorino, the Republican Party candidate for governor, addresses about 300 people Friday night during the Republican Party Fall Rally. He was joined at the head table by, pictured from left: Beverly Maziarz, her husband State Sen. George Maziarz, and State Assemblyman Steve Hawley.

HOLLEY – A crowd of 300 attended the Orleans County Republican Fall Rally on Friday night, and they were told to work hard to get out the vote on Nov. 4, especially for Rob Astorino, the candidate for governor against incumbent Andrew Cuomo.

“We are peaking at the right time,” Astorino told the Republicans in Orleans County. “This race will come down to Upstate New York. The dirty secret here is New York City is not going to vote this year. It’s going to be a very quiet election in New York City, which means every vote Upstate matters more than you know.”

Cuomo has a 21-point lead over Astorino, 54 to 33 percent, in a Siena poll released on Wednesday. (Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins is eroding some Cuomo support with 9 points in the poll.)

Astorino said he has been narrowing the gap, and he expects Republicans and Conservatives to show up big for the election.

“The mighty will be cast down from their throne,” Astorino told the GOP crowd at Hickory Ridge Country Club. “That’s going to happen on Nov. 4.”

Astorino has been an underdog before. He is county executive of Westchester County, which has a big enrollment edge for Democrats. He overcame that to win in Westchester, and he said his broad support has helped him reduce county spending and promote job growth in Westchester County.

Astorino said he would push to reduce taxes, repeal the SAFE Act for gun control and also get rid of the Common Core in schools.

“This race is much closer than anybody knows,” Astorino said. “There is one person who knows how close it is besides me and that’s Andrew Cuomo. He has spent already $30 million in this race, $30 in pure negative, false ads. Have you seen the soup commercial? He wouldn’t have spent half of that if he didn’t have to. He knows what we know. New York City is going to be quiet. Upstate New York is going to be our country. It’s going to matter the suburbs, where I am from.”

Rob Astorino addresses the GOP crowd after being introduced by Ed Morgan, the Orleans County Republican Party chairman.

Astorino flew back home after addressing the crowd at Hickory Ridge. He said he will be up early Saturday to campaign in Long Island.

“If we win the suburbs, we win the race,” he said.

Ed Morgan, the Orleans County Republican Party chairman, praised Astorino for working so hard in the race. Morgan said the candidate has proven he can connect with voters from all parties and get things done in public office.

Orleans County Republicans outnumber registered Democrats by about a 2 to 1 ratio. Astorino said he will need a big effort at the polls from Republicans.

“You are ready to roar,” he said in his speech. “The silent majority is waking up in this state. Enough of the high taxes, enough of the terrible economy, enough of the absolute corruption coming out of Andrew Cuomo’s Office. We can fix that because we shouldn’t settle for that. This is New York and we should be the best at everything because we once were.”

Congressman Chris Collins also urged Republicans to reach out to their friends on Election Day. Collins said Cuomo has failed to inspire voters and is vulnerable.

“Voter turnout can turn this election,” Collins said. “I’ve said it before: No one likes Andrew Cuomo, not even his mom. Honest, that’s not even a joke. This is a nasty person.”