WHITE PLAINS - Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino appears to be positioning himself for a potential run for governor of New York.
Astorino, recently making stops in Syracuse and Binghamton, says he is not on the campaign trail just yet, but could be in the near future.
During interviews with upstate radio stations recently, Astorino says he's "leaning toward" tossing his hat into the ring. When asked by 570 WSYR radio in Syracuse about New York's controversial gun law passed by lawmakers in the wake of the Newtown school massacre, Astorino teed off on the Democratic incumbent. "The governor rammed this through in the dark of night, on a bill that nobody read, which now is partly unconstitutional by a federal judge, which made a mockery and demonized law-abiding gun owners."
Astorino is trying to carefully appeal to upstate voters and to the political right, while also drawing clear contrasts between himself and Cuomo. The Republican, also critical of the governor for holding up fracking in the state, says Cuomo's position is hurting the economy. "We have the most people leaving our state than any other state in the country. Worst business climate, and it went by the way from 49th to 50th under this governor. The most corruption anywhere in our capital."
Astorino faces an uphill battle if he decides to run. Currently the Republican has $680,000 in his campaign coffers, while Cuomo has more than $33 million. He says it will be several weeks before he makes a decision about running for governor.