WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. – Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino has not officially announced he is running for New York governor, but he has taken to Twitter to slam Gov. Andrew Cuomo a dozen times since Jan. 1.
Astorino, who began his second term as county executive that day, is expected to make a decision on whether or not to run for Cuomo’s seat by the end of February or early March.
State Conservative Party Chairman Mike Long said he will back Astorino if he runs, according to the New York Post.
Cuomo, on the other hand, has not mentioned Astorino in any of his tweets.
Campaign Spokesman William O’Reilly told Daily Voice on Monday that Astorino, a Republican, has been criticizing Cuomo on Twitter so much lately because his policies are driving up costs for Westchester schools and municipalities.
“It's why the County Executive is looking at a run for governor and commenting so much on counterproductive state policies,” O’Reilly said.
The Twitter jabs range in topic from Cuomo’s 2014 State of the State speech, to incentive programs that offer money to businesses that agree to operate in Buffalo, N.Y., to the Common Core Learning Standards.
"Gov. Cuomo sounds like Monty Hall with these convoluted gimmicks. How about lowering taxes instead?" Astorino wrote in one Tweet, referencing the business incentive program in Buffalo.
Astorino blasted Cuomo on Twitter, as well as a state GOP fundraiser Jan. 21, for comments he made suggesting some conservatives "have no place" in New York.
In another Tweet leading up to his Jan. 24 appearance on the Sean Hannity Show on Fox News Channel, Astorino jested that he would, "try to convince Sean to stay in NYS, despite Cuomo's outrageous statements."
A recent Siena Research Institute poll showed Cuomo with a 50-point advantage over both Astorino and Donald Trump in potential matchups for his seat.
Trump has also critiqued Cuomo's policies via Twitter in recent weeks. He said Monday that, "Cuomo only cut the Verrazano Bridge tolls because I made it a major point in speeches. I love the people of Staten Island."
Trump has said he will only run for governor if Astorino takes his name out of the field of potential candidates, according to the New York Post.
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