Never too early to start 2009?


New Hampshire and the race for president are dominating the political news right now, but its worth noting that the first shot of the 2009 battle for Westchester county executive may have been fired this weekend.

In an “op-ed article”: published in Saturday’s The Journal News, Republican Rob Astorino, who ran for the post in 2005, takes a hard swipe at County Executive Andrew Spano over his decision not to particpate in emergency readiness drills with state and federal officials.

“There is a clear and present danger involving the Indian Point nuclear power plant, and it needs to get addressed fast,” Astorino wrote. “It is not from terrorists, nor is it from neglect or incompetence. It is from Westchester County Executive Andy Spano.”

Astorino has not said yet whether he will run against Spano again. In 2005, he ran a spirited campaign but suffered from a lack of funding and some significant gaffes.

The op-ed also could also revive one of the major issues of the 2005 race: Astorino’s ties to Indian Point-owner Entergy. The Spano campaign continually tried to link Astorino with the nuclear plant, at one point suggesting that Entergy was providing talking points to Astorino.


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  1. Rob Astorino has no chance against Andrew Spano, Rob will lose by an even larger margin if he were to run again. What has changed for Rob, what new experience does he have to make him a brtter candidate? Andrew Spano cares about the county and the residents who reside there. My vote will be with a caring individual who always trys to put the people first, I will be with Mr. Spano.

  2. Teddy Roosevelt on

    Astorino should run. People are tired of Andy Spano and 2009 will be a year of change for Westchester County. Rob spoke about change in 2005 and while voters ultimately re-elected Spano, they gave a serious look to Astorino. In 2009, voters will be ready for Rob’s message of change.

  3. Kevin W. Davis on

    Amy Paulin hasn’t ruled out a run, even if its a primary challenge against Andy Spano.

  4. Teddy Roosevelt on

    Amy Paulin, like Andy Spano, believes the answer to every problem is to raise taxes. It should make for an interesting debate.

    We do not need another county executive who doesn’t understand the beating the taxpayers in Westchester have gotten. Amy Paulin is just as bad as Andy Spano.

  5. Andrew Spano cares about the county? He does to a degree. But only to the degree that widens his own pocket and protects his position. Westchester County, sadly, did not give Rob Astorino a just turn. At times people get stuck in whatever is comfortable and do not move forward out of fear of change. In the case of Mr. Spano, change is good. When one has a choice of good, better or best, it would make sense to choose “best”. Rob was truly the best choice. . .and if he chooses to run again, Westchester should say thank you because there would be no one more devoted to make it work for all the right reasons.

  6. Lincoln Duncan on

    Rob Astorino is the best prepared to run for County Executive. It is a race that he has run before and, when considered by most to be a joke candidacy, he managed to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars and surprise the Westchester political world. Imagine what he would do in 2009 with a better organization and more cash…



  8. Rob Astorino is a leader. He is highly intelligent, and a man of great moral character. That Fordham education of his shows. His years of public service have made him even wiser.

    Astorino’s essay on the real dangers facing us here in Westchester succinctly challenges assumptions, and confronts the “popular wisdom” that has restrained Westchester County in moving on after 9/11/01, as a minority group of anti-nuke folks has sought, irrationally, to raise public anxiety over Indian Point.

    I have not lost a minute of sleep worrying about Indian Point, not ever, and not once since 9/11. Public safety officials I know feel the same way: it is the Tappan Zee Bridge which terrorists would seek to strike to put real fear into us. You’d need a nuclear bomb to take out Indian Point, and then, it wouldn’t really matter if there were an Indian Point, yes? The nuclear bomb on its own would be sufficient to cripple us.

    President Bush and his counter-terrorism staff have done better than satisfactory work in preventing the purported holocaust that a group of fearmongering leftist beards has predicted over the last six years.

    Politicians who pander to the weak, pollyanna-ish angry voices who disdain nuclear power deserve whatever fate they earn, as do those citizens who vote for them. That’s why Westchester County is weakened. Look at the shallow folks who are running things.

    Nuclear energy is “green”– it leaves no greenhouse gasses in its wake.

    Then again, you might wish to pay those $1,200 ConEd bills forever if you eliminate Indian Point. To each his own.

    Right on, Rob Astorino. Your wisdom may catch on yet.

  9. Nuclear power must be at the heart of
    any oil-free energy plan. Nuclear
    power is not just clean energy; it is
    the cleanest renewable fuel out there.
    That is why the French get over 80% of
    their power from nuclear energy and
    why the United State Navy has been
    using nuclear reactors in ships for
    over 50 (accident free) years.

    Presidential candidates Barack Obama,
    Rudy Giuliani, John McCain, Hillary
    Clinton, Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee and
    Fred Thompson all support and include
    nuclear power in their energy plans.
    It’s not a coincidence that both the
    Democratic and Republican frontrunners
    are pro-nuke. Again, it is the best
    clean energy the world knows.

    Rob Astorino is 100% right to take Andy
    Spano to task for not only his personal
    objection to nuclear power but also his
    letting personal politics get in the way
    of public safety. Spano is an old corrupt
    bum whose time has long expired. We need
    a fresh leader who understands new
    technology and doesn’t utilize the politics
    of fear to win election after election.

    I’m a fiscally conservative and socially
    progressive Democrat with a fair warning
    for my party: run somebody new in 2009 or
    lose my vote to Rob Astorino.

  10. WestchesterRepublican on

    Why not Rob Astorino?

    He’s young, energetic and he can raise tons of money without tapping into anyone’s machine. If certain political figures are more accepting of his candidacy this go around I can’t help but think that Astorino wins big.

    Republicans just need to wake up and realize what’s in front of their nose.

  11. Lincoln Duncan on

    RJB asked, “what has changed for Astorino since 2005?� The better question to ask is “what has happened to Westchester since 2005?�

    All of the issues I remember Astorino campaigning on are still around and few have been adequately dealt with by Andy Spano or anyone else in county government (Republican or Democrat). Rob is someone who works across Party lines but stays true to core principles. We are in dire need of a fat-free (and by that I mean excessive spending, not trans fat) county budget that ushers in accountability and efficiency. We need outside the box thinking if we’re going to right this ship. And to get outside the box thinking, you’ll need somebody from outside the box of the county office building. No other potential candidate for the GOP is as good as Astorino.

    Rob Astorino would make a great county executive and I encourage him to run.

  12. McCain/Giuliani 2008 on

    Word is that Astorino has been laying the groundwork for another county executive run for some time now.

    It’s probably a good move for him because after 11 years of Andy Spano, Andy Spano fatigue is real! It’s time for a new leader for this county, and Rob Astorino would be an ideal choice, not just for Republicans, but for independents and Democrats who are fed up with the status quo.

    Astorino believes in fiscal responsibility – something that both Republicans and Democrats from White Plains to Albany to Washington seem to have long forgotten.

  13. Remember when Andy Spano was running for COunty Exec he said he would just serve one term? And now he wants a 4th term??? Who is he kidding.

    Enough already Andy Spano!!!!!! The clock is ticking on your administration. tick, tick, tick….

  14. the consultant on

    Rob Astorino is the perfect candidate for county executive
    rather than increasing the county payroll, rob knows that
    county government should be limited. In addition he recognizes that taxes cannot keep going up in Westchester
    without the county losing its workforce and without a
    significant dimunition in the overall quality of life
    for those who can still afford to live here. Andy Spano
    did indeed promise to serve one term..And now his administration has spiraled out of control along with
    a super majority on the board of legistlators which effectively allows the democrats to tax and spend without
    any checks or balances. I am sure that the Conservative
    Party will support Rob..but what about the IND Party which
    proved a problem last time around…No deals between Spano
    and the Ind chairman should be tolerated and now is the time
    to make sure that Rob gets a fair shot at the post. Remember
    because of registration in Westchester a Republican candidate who does not have the COnservative and Ind
    lines as well is at a distinct disadvantage…..Now is
    the time for those who want a responsible COunty Executive
    to make their voices heard on Rob’s behalf with both
    minor parties so that going into 2009…there is a level
    playing field

  15. Let’s get moving here. Andy out, Rob in. Simple. I wholeheartedly agree re gaining the Independent as well as the Conservative line. It is NOT too early to start. I have great faith that people will wake from their sleep. Such potential. Rob Astorino is Westchester’s answer to turn county government around – this time for all the people. It’s a beautiful place but will soon be very spacious with great real estate buys if things keep up the way they are now.

  16. The only reason Rob had any steam in the last election is because he was playing “the homeless shelter card” and he did receive a little push with th issue, but the issue was a local issue for his community which by the way he lost in his own hometown. Rob can not defeat a well funded Andy Spano. Where is Rob going to raise money? The Republican Party in Westchester County is broke as hell, they do not have a dime to back any candidates.

  17. Astorino should put together a team of patriots to get himself elected and take a majority on the County Board, then all vote to dissolve the whole thing. This kind of bravery and integrity would enable him to go on to national competition and the rest of them to get elected to the State Senate and Assembly.

  18. Still Dreaming of days past on

    All you Republicans who are still dreaming of the days when Andy O’Rourke, Colivito, Brady, Noto, DeLuca, Gill and the rest of the boys were running things, you need to face the facts that Westchester County is now like Mt. Vernon. Westchester County is solidly in the hands of the Democrats and that is the bottom line. You can make all the noise you want and make all the allegations, the Democrats will not listen, they will vote party line. Look at the high caliber republican judges who got clobbered in Westchester County because they were not on the Democratic line.

    It is over in Westchester County for the Republican Party.

  19. I wouldn’t mind seeing someone run for a County Executive seat with a pledge to disband county government. I’m in Putnam, but it’s an idea that would be applicable anywhere in NY, I think. Might need to revise the state constitution, but, hey, why not?