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Westchester exec headlines Suffolk GOP fete

Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino addresses county officials

Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino addresses county officials and citizens during the State of the County at the Westchester County Courhouse in White Plains. (April 25, 2012) Credit: Faye Murman

Westchester’s Republican county executive Rob Astorino headlined the Suffolk GOP dinner last week, where Suffolk Republican chairman John Jay Lavalle predicted the crowd of more than 200 will “one day be voting for him for statewide office.”

Astorino, a former ESPN producer, won election a 14 point victory for county executive in Westchester despite a Democratic enrollment in his second try, after losing his first race by 17 points.

The bantam pol, who claims to be 5-foot-seven but stood on a box to reach the mike, gave the GOP crowd partisan red meat, claiming that Barack Obama reminds him of former President Jimmy Carter, just before losing to Ronald Reagan. “The president says we need to move forward,” he said, “But if you’re heading for a waterfall, you should start paddling the other way.”

Although he did not say who might get top billing, LaValle also touted state Sen. John Flanagan as a “superstar for Suffolk” who will also “soon be running for statewide office.”

Both men should beware, however. In the last gubernatorial sweepstakes, LaValle first backed former Rep. Rick Lazio but then dumped him to back nouveau Republican County Executive Steve Levy, who failed to even make the GOP gubernatorial primary ballot.

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