© 2023 WRVO Public Media
NPR News for Central New York
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Former GOP candidate for governor still critical of Cuomo

Ryan Delaney
Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Republican rival in last fall’s election is offering his take on political dynamics at the state Capitol. And it is not a positive viewpoint .

Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino was at the Capitol to lobby, along with the New York State Association of Counties, for items in the new state budget, including more mandate relief. The former unsuccessful Republican candidate for governor, says its Cuomo now who is losing political power and friends, calling the governor Cuomo a “bully.”

“He’s angered so many people with his style of authoritative government that the allies he once counted on are not there anymore,” said Astorino.

Astorino compared Cuomo to a predecessor who was also known as a hard charging governor.

“Look what happened with Spitzer,” said Astorino, of the former governor who eventually resigned. “When he fell down after what he did to everybody up here, and the way he acted, no one was there to lend a helping hand.”

Astorino took another shot, saying that U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, who is investigating corruption at the Capitol, and who recently arrested the former Assembly speaker on fraud charges, seems to have the most power of anyone in Albany right now.

A spokeswoman for the governor said sarcastically, via Twitter, that she’s “shocked” that the losing candidate for governor would say something negative.

Astorino and other county leaders also oppose Cuomo’s plan to no longer treat 16- and 17-year olds as adults in the state prison system, saying it might cost counties too much money.

Astorino would not say whether he intends to run for governor in 2018, saying his focus right now is on lobbying on behalf of the counties. 

Karen DeWitt is Capitol Bureau Chief for New York State Public Radio, a network of 10 public radio stations in New York State. She has covered state government and politics for the network since 1990.