Westchester's Astorino: Sought Christie's Advice on Possible Run for NY Gov.

Friday, 13 Dec 2013 09:17 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

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Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino says he is considering a run against New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo — who he believes is "beatable" — and recently met with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie for advice.

"My wife and I went out and met with Mr. and Mrs. Christie for an hour and, really, the conversation … [was], what is it like to run for governor … with a family of small kids," Astorino, a Republican, told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

Story continues below video.

"What happens if you get elected? How do you govern and deal with that with kids? So that was really the context."

Astorino, whose county north of New York City is one of the nation's wealthiest suburbs, said while he hasn't made a definitive decision about taking on Cuomo, a Democrat, "the Republicans and conservatives have indicated that I would be their nominee ..."

"I'm really going through the motions now to talk to the big donors and big groups and the really important people around New York state and nationally, and so far the reception has been very, very good.

"I've gotten even Democrats who have asked me to run and Democratic voters, believe it or not. Do I think Gov. Cuomo's beatable? I certainly do."

Astorino said he believes New York state is "going in the wrong direction," under Cuomo's leadership.

"He is simply managing the decline and not turning us around and leading as he should in a bold way as other governors have done around the country," he said.

"The corruption in New York is awful, worse than it's ever been. Taxes are the highest in the country, business climate — we've gone from 49th to 50th, worst — so there's a lot of reasons why New Yorkers feel there should be a change."

Astorino said during his meeting with Christie that the Garden State leader told him running for governor was "an adventure and you have to make it an adventure for your kids …"

"My kids are 10, 8, and 4, and they've got to be part of the process. They've got to understand that Daddy could lose or Daddy could win, and enjoy the time together when you can, in summer, when they're not in school."

Astorino is also confident Christie would endorse him should he throw his hat in the ring.

"Not even a question, and for many reasons. First of all, he's the chairman of the Republican Governors Association. It's his job to help elect Republican governors around the country," he said.

"If it comes down to it and we're moving the dial and getting on striking distance, I guarantee you Chris Christie will be very supportive. I'm confident in that and, by the way, he's done a really good job as governor of New Jersey."

Astorino, 46, was elected County Executive in 2009, defeating Andy Spano. In 2013, he beat Democratic challenger Noam Bramson, the mayor of New Rochelle.

Previously, he was a well-known sports broadcaster and was one of the founders of 1050 ESPN Radio in New York.

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