NYACK - Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino sat down for an exclusive interview with News 12 today to speak out against Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s plan to legalize medical marijuana and to speak candidly about his aspirations for higher office.

When asked if he was considering a run for governor of New York, Astorino told News 12, “It’s something I’m strongly considering in a real way.”

Many indicators point toward Astorino announcing his candidacy for November’s election. Several top Republican sources have told News 12 an Astorino run is all but a done deal and the best shot they have to take back the governor's office. Also, state Republicans have already decided to hold their nominating convention this spring in Westchester, Astorino's home turf.

News 12 has learned Astorino is holding a $500 per seat fundraiser next week, in an apparent effort to begin to take on the $30 million campaign war chest currently held by Cuomo.

“We don't need to match him. We never will,” said Astorino. “But enough to run a competitive race and get the message out there to make the case we need a new governor.”

The county executive unseated popular democrat Andy Spano four years ago on a platform of lowering taxes. Republicans are hoping voter frustration regarding taxes will be enough to overcome his lack of name recognition upstate.

Astorino told News 12 that he expects to announce a decision by next month.

For extended interview with exec. Astorino on governor run, watch the clip to the left or click News 12 Extra on Optimum TV channel 612.