Hawley says he will again push to split Upstate, NYC

Staff Reports Posted 17 November 2014 at 12:00 am

State Assemblyman Steve Hawley says he will again push to split New York City from Upstate New York. The recent governor’s election highlighted the “deep divide” between NYC and Upstate, said Hawley, R-Batavia.

Hawley is pushing a “Two New Yorks” legislation, would seek a referendum in each county asking voters, “Do you support the division of New York into two separate states?”

Hawley says this is an important first step toward true representation for upstate New York.

“I’ll be making my ‘Two New Yorks’ legislation a top priority to find out if Upstate New Yorkers want to take the step to separate from New York City and downstate interests,” Hawley said.

The upstate/downstate divide was made abundantly clear in this year’s gubernatorial elections, where Gov. Cuomo’s entire margin of victory came from New York City alone, Hawley said.

New York City gave Cuomo an edge by 569,278 votes. The incumbent only won the election by 480,605 votes. This means that without New York City, Cuomo would have lost and New York’s next governor would be someone more aligned with the Upstate priorities of lower taxes, a better business climate, and the restoration of Second Amendment rights, Hawley said.

“These recent elections have made one thing clear: New York City has a tight grip on the electoral politics of this state, and it is not working for Upstate New York,” Hawley said. “Longtime Upstate New Yorkers are being driven out of the state they were raised in because of oppressive taxes and the lack of well-paying jobs.”

Orleans County was the second most anti-Cuomo county in the state. Voters in Orleans cast 73.4 percent of their votes for Astorino (6,530), compared to 24.2 percent for Cuomo (2,179). Only Wyoming County was more pro-Astorino, giving him 76.0 percent of its vote.