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Long IslandPoliticsSpin Cycle

Will 'Stop Common Core' ballot line aid Astorino?

People protest at the Common Core Education Forum

People protest at the Common Core Education Forum at Ward Melville High School on Nov. 12, 2013. Photo Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara

Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino said Tuesday that he’ll also run on a ballot line called “Stop Common Core,” as he seeks to use unrest over the controversial academic standards in his bid to upset Democrat Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.

Astorino, the current Westchester County executive, would have to gather at least 15,000 petition signatures over the next five weeks to create a Stop Common Core line on the statewide ballot.

Astorino said he’s tapping into a “grassroots movement which has taken hold across this state” that involves “teachers and parents of all stripes.” He acknowledged that he’s looking to woo people who may not normally get involved or excited about statewide political races, and the Common Core issue highlights a “clear difference between Andrew Cuomo and me.”

“Stop Common Core, as a third-party line, will allow parents to be part of this reform movement -- either to cast a protest vote against Common Core or support me on this issue,” Astorino said.

He said the ballot strategy isn’t just about winning. “It’s about making a major statement in this state that we believe it is on the wrong path in regards to education,” Astorino said.

Cuomo’s campaign didn’t immediately comment.

The governor has the backing of the Democrat Party as well as the Working Families Party. Besides Republicans, Astorino has the Conservative Party endorsement.

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