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Astorino announcing decision on gubernatorial run Wednesday
ALBANY -- Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, a Republican, is expected to make it official Wednesday that he is challenging Democratic Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.
"Announcing decision on whether to run for governor of NY in video news release Wednesday," Astorino wrote on his Twitter account Tuesday. "Time and details to follow. Please Stay tuned!"
Astorino has been hinting for weeks that a decision was imminent. Last month, he registered an "Astorino For Governor" campaign account; the home page of his robastorino.com website is titled Rob Astorino for Governor.
Next to a less-than-flattering picture of Cuomo Astorino posed his theme: "Is New York winning or is New York losing?"
The Republican has criticized Cuomo's list of accomplishments as either inflated or too late. For example, he said the $2 billion in tax cuts Cuomo proposes in his 2014-15 budget comes too late for Astorino, who insists "New York is losing."
Cuomo won in 2010 with nearly 63 percent of the statewide vote, beating Republican Carl Paladino of Buffalo.
Developer Donald Trump has dabbled with the idea of running as a Republican. But he has said he won't run if Astorino does because he doesn't want to contend with a GOP primary. Some leading Republicans, such as Senate co-leader Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre), have doubted that Trump was "totally serious" about running. Skelos has called Astorino an "excellent candidate."
Astorino won re-election in the fall in heavily Democratic Westchester County. But he would face a tough challenge against Cuomo, who has a significant lead in the polls and $33 million in his campaign war chest.