Democrats Renew Questions About Astorino's Commitment To County

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Peter Harckham is among Westchester County legislators reacting to County Executive Rob Astorino's run for governor.
Peter Harckham is among Westchester County legislators reacting to County Executive Rob Astorino's run for governor. Photo Credit: Brian Donnelly
Westchester legislators Jim Maisano (top right), Peter Harckham (bottom left) and Catherine Borgia (bottom right) comment on County Executive Rob Astorino's (top left) decision to run for governor.
Westchester legislators Jim Maisano (top right), Peter Harckham (bottom left) and Catherine Borgia (bottom right) comment on County Executive Rob Astorino's (top left) decision to run for governor.

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. – Democratic Westchester legislators say County Executive Rob Astorino’s newly launched gubernatorial run will pull him away from his duties locally, while Republicans say the exposure will benefit the county.

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Will County Executive Rob Astorino's run for governor benefit or hurt Westchester?

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Will County Executive Rob Astorino's run for governor benefit or hurt Westchester?

  • This will benefit Westchester by bringing it more attention

    37%
  • This will hurt Westchester by splitting Rob Astorino's attention

    37%
  • This will neither benefit nor hurt Westchester

    26%
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After announcing his candidacy Wednesday, Astorino will hit the road, making stops in the Bronx and Buffalo on Thursday, and Rochester, Syracuse and Albany on Friday.

Democratic Legislator Peter Harckham has questioned Astorino’s number of trips out of the county since getting elected to a second term in November. He said Westchester needs a full-time county executive.

"He asked the people for four more years to serve as county executive. We have enormous challenges right here in Westchester,” Harckham told Daily Voice.  “It's unfortunate he’s putting the needs of Westchester aside for his own political aspirations."

Republican legislators Michael Smith and Jim Maisano both said Astorino has a strong team around him and that they are confident he will be able to govern effectively.

However, Majority Leader Catherine Borgia (D – Ossining) said she isn’t so sure, and that the Westchester County Board of Legislators (BOL) has a very aggressive agenda this year.

“It remains to be seen where Astorino’s focus will be with launching this large endeavor,” she said, adding that he has a hands-off governing style to begin with.

Astorino campaign spokesman William O’Reilly said the Democratic legislators are “performing their part in the political show, nothing more than that.”

“Westchester is a very well-run county under Rob Astorino, and it will continue to be,” he said. “Funny, they never seem to chime in when Andrew Cuomo is traveling the country raising money.”

Smith said that Astorino has made the tough, sometimes unpopular decisions in Westchester that Gov. Andrew Cuomo has not made at the state level. He said Cuomo, of New Castle, is benefiting from flat property tax levies in the last three county budgets.

While Westchester has the highest property taxes in New York, Astorino said it has reduced its spending and cut taxes more than any other county in the state. His run for governor will be an opportunity to promote those achievements, as well as the creation of about 30,000 jobs, the reinvention of Playland and others, Smith said.

“He’s a very talented public official,” Maisano said of Astorino. “I think he’ll make a strong candidate for the Republican Party and he’s got a lot of things to improve.”

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Comments (9)

obama has been in campaign mode from the day he got elected til this very moment- I'm sure the County will be fine. And NY state will be a better place if Astorino beats cuomo.

Oh the hypocrisy! The dems act as though no politician has ever run for office while holding one, are you kidding? I don't think you'll get even the lowest info voters to buy into this. Great strategy, is this the best you've got?

do you think Harckman is just a mouthpiece for Jenkins?

Hey Harckham, cleaning up the mess and disfunction in Albany clearly serves the best interest of Westchester and many of my fellow Westchesterites believe Astorino is the man who can do it. Shall we go tit for tat with every trip a candidate has made on behalf of his political ambitions? I am sure Cuomo has logged way more miles.

This is all a Joke, I wonder if they are going to get on Cuomo for his big fund-raiser out in LA. I guess not since he is a democrat and they can do what ever they want.

its funny how the democrats, led by paul feiner, are already trying to undermine Astorino as not minding his job as county exec while campaigning, it only affects westchester voters. maybe they realize if he takes westchester in the state election he could win the governors seat.

Feiner No Friend of Dems.Why? Feiner is say one thing do another Official. He claims the County Executive should give up a part of his pay during the campagn, but when HE was running for Congress, Feiner gave up NOTHING other than his full time attention to Greenburgh Taxpayers.

Funny that Peter Harckham is the poster boy for this issue. I guess he does not remember when he was in the middle of his first term as County Legislator when he ran for the State Assembly and lost. The man has no shame.

Any politician having an issue with any other politician running for a different political office than the one they already have is the definition of political theater and hypocrisy. We'd better not catch anyone like Peter blowhard Harkham running for any other office! That would be outlandish.
Kind of a non-story here...