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Astorino makes it official, via YouTube announcement

Karen DeWitt/WXXI
Rob Astorino

Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino announced on YouTube his candidacy to run as a Republican against Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Astorino, a Republican who has won the county executive seat twice in the Democratically dominated Westchester County, painted a grim picture of New York under Cuomo, saying the state is “dying” from the highest taxes in the nation and is one of the poorest business climates in the country.

“Is New York winning? Or are we losing?” Astorino asks.

He accused Cuomo of painting a “fairy tale that everything is just great” when everything is “just the opposite.”

Astorino also attacked Cuomo’s recent proposal to provide free college education to prisoners and blamed the governor for problems with the Common Core learning standards.

Cuomo remains consistently popular, and has a $33 million war chest. The governor says he intends to seek re-election, but has not formally announced his candidacy.

"We look forward to an entertaining Republican primary process and are ready to to run against whomever their nominee is in September," said Peter Kauffmann, spokesman for the New York State Democratic Committee.