Westchester County Executive Robert Astorino said today that anyone can run for governor, but they should earn it by winning the support of the GOP chairmen and committee members.
Celebrity billionaire Donald Trump said he wants the decks cleared for him if he decides to run: no primary, no dispute. Carl Paladino, the 2010 GOP gubernatorial candidate, says he’ll run for the Conservative Party nomination if Astorino is in.
Astorino shrugged of the dissension, but said anyone who is interested should go through the same process he is. He’s out talking to committee chairs and touring the state.
“At this point, I think it’s the process,” Astorino said on “The Capitol Pressroom,” a public radio show. “Everyone has a right to run. Everyone has a right to say they are considering running. Nobody has a right to say it’s mine, I want it, give it to me. That’s why there are 62 county chairs in all the different parties.”
Astorino went on to rip Gov. Andrew Cuomo, saying Republicans and Conservatives need to focus on him — not on intra-party squabbles. He also dismissed Paladino’s demands that Astorino seek to oust Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos and Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb.
“That’s not my fight. My fight with Governor Cuomo and his policies,” Astorino said.
Astorino called the controversial testing standards “Cuomo’s Common Core” and said the state mishandled the roll out of the program.
“The biggest problem with Cuomo’s Common Core is that it was rolled out terribly,” Astorino said. “You now have kids who have failed tests and this on their college transcripts, and they are going to pay the price for this.”
Astorino said he’s still considering whether to run. He’s likely to make a decision by the end of the month.
“People are suffering. We are not out of the woods, despite the glitz and glamor of a TV commercial,” Astorino said of Cuomo’s ads touting the state.
He also knocked Cuomo’s plan for universal pre-kindergarten, saying the state doesn’t even have kindergarten and other programs statewide.
“Why are we doing pre-k when we don’t even have K yet?” Astorino said.