It's official: Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino is the GOP's candidate to run against Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
The sitting Westchester County Executive accepted the nomination at the New York State Republican Convention in Rye Brook on Thursday, promising to not rest until New York gets "back on track" towards being a "great state."
He blamed Cuomo's administration for municipalities "buckling under the weight of his mandates" and blaming it on the local governments.
"New York government grew so wide, so fast, and so broad that it had to tax its people into the ground to support itself. And when Albany couldn’t tax us any more, it began making local governments do it for them," Astorino said.
Astorino, who summarized his question to voters if they though New York was "winning" or "losing" under Cuomo, blamed the state's failures's squarely on its leaders.
"Why is the Empire State shrinking? Why is New York losing to every state in this country?," he asked. "I’ll tell you what happened — government happened. Bad government. Bad government leadership. Sure, it was often well meaning, but it was always stifling."
Along with his running mate Chemung County Sheriff Christopher Moss, Astorino vowed to cut taxes and regulations to lift that burden, and to get repeal gun reform laws passed by the statehood in 2013 that he called an "unconstitutional political gimmick."
"Take it from a guy who has spent his life in law enforcement: the SAFE Act does not make us safe," Moss said on Wednesday. "It turned my brothers and sisters in law enforcement into criminals. And we will repeal it."
Follow Chester Jesus Soria on Twitter@chestersoria