Republican unveils bid to challenge New York Governor Cuomo

New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo delivers his fourth State of the State address from the New York State Capitol in Albany, New York, January 8, 2014. REUTERS/Mike Segar
New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo delivers his fourth State of the State address from the New York State Capitol in Albany, New York, January 8, 2014. REUTERS/Mike Segar

Rob Astorino, a little-known Republican county executive, launched a bid on Wednesday to challenge New York’s popular Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo, promising to make the state more affordable, to open more charter schools and to pave the way for natural gas fracking.

“I’m tired of listening to the fairy tale that everything is just great when it’s just the opposite,” Astorino said in a six-minute video posted on his campaign website.

Ed Cox, the state’s Republican leader, released a statement of support that said “Goliath, meet David.”

A February Quinnipiac poll found New York voters favoring Cuomo 58 percent to 24 percent over Astorino in a hypothetical match-up. While more than six in 10 New Yorkers approve of Cuomo’s job performance, 86 percent of voters say they haven’t heard enough about Astorino to form an opinion.

Lee Miringoff, who heads the Marist Poll, called Astorino’s candidacy a “tall order.”

“The to-do list is very long,” Miringoff said. “He needs to raise money, he has low name recognition, he’s trailing.”

“But he’s also articulate and he’s attracted a lot of Democratic voters in Westchester,” Miringoff added, referring to the wealthy commuter suburb north of New York City.

Despite his uphill challenge, Astorino could emerge as a formidable candidate. He easily won re-election last November in Westchester, a heavily Democratic county.

In his video, Astorino sounded many of the themes that have been central to Cuomo’s message: lowering taxes and making the state more competitive, and working with members of the opposing party.

Astorino also said New York has been “losing” under Cuomo, and mocked the governor on several issues, including delaying a decision on whether to allow fracking, a horizontal drilling technique for natural gas that has been controversial due to environmental and health concerns.

The Republican field is still unsettled ahead of this year’s primary, which has not yet been formally scheduled. Real estate mogul Donald Trump has floated the idea of running, though public opinion polls suggest New Yorkers deeply oppose the idea.


FDNY debuts new fire simulator for blazes at…

The New York City Fire Department christened its newest, state-of-the-art, custom-built simulator at its training academy on Randall's Island Tuesday.


Bronx cop saves baby who stopped breathing

A Bronx police officer is credited with saving the life of a 2-month-old baby who stopped breathing Tuesday morning. Police Officer Johnny Castillo, 38, was…


Brewer celebrates Women's Equality Day with voter pledge

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer celebrated Women’s Equality Day Tuesday by pledging to register at least five women voters before the Oct. 10 deadline. Brewer…


NYPD looking for lewd D train rider

The NYPD is enlisting the public’s help to find a man they say performed a lewd act on the D train Saturday evening. The incident…


'Pretty Little Liars' recap: Season 5, Episode 12,…

If you've wondered whether Ali and Bethany knew each other, you got an answer tonight: Yes, and in a very tangled way. But many lingering…


Cymbals Eat Guitars Have Everything to 'LOSE'

At its most basic level, a rock band can be thought of as a family, a group of people selflessly devoted to a cause. When…


"Bachelor in Paradise" recap: Episode 4, 'Week Four'

Some things are hard to watch in a “Human Centipede” sort of way. Other things in an “American History X” sort of way. Does “Bachelor…


Fall Movie Preview: 10 films to see this…

Despite being awards season, the next four months bring a glut of remakes, rehashes and sequels. Here are 10 that should be better worth your time.


When are 2014 college football playoffs? (Schedule, date,…

When and where are 2014 college football playoffs? A look at the schedule, date, TV, time for the semi-finals at championship game.


Dimitri Patterson suspended only for rest of preseason…

Dimitri Patterson ended up getting just a slap on the wrist.


Eugenie Bouchard excited for 'rowdy' fans at US…

Eugenie Bouchard is sure to endear herself to New York's tennis faithful as she tries to win her first grand slam title across the next two weeks.


MLB Power Rankings: Angels and A's still at…

MLB Power Rankings: Angels and A's still at top, Nationals climb


Who is having the most orgasms?

  Single lesbians report having orgasms more often than heterosexual women but both gay and straight men still come out on top of the climax…


Jonathan Adler shares his tips for a great…

Jonathan Adler took a break from boogie boarding at his beach house to tell us how to keep that Labor Day party festive.


Most popular Labor Day weekend destinations released its Top 20 destinations for the end of summer, including Labor Day weekend. If you’re heading to any of these spots, expect a…


Working your way to type 2 diabetes: Job…

When it comes to type 2 diabetes, a stressful job can be as risky for your health as a bad diet and no exercise. A…