As Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino travels the state ahead of a potential challenge to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, some Westchester Democrats are questioning the Republican’s commitment to the county just three months after he was re-elected to a second term.
Legislator Ken Jenkins, D-Yonkers; Legislator Peter Harckham, D-North Salem; and County Clerk Tim Idoni released a list of Astorino’s publicized trips since his re-election in November, when speculation about a run for governor took off. They said he had been out of the county about 20 percent of the time: 14 out of the 67 business days.
“People didn’t elect Kevin Plunkett and George Oros to run the county,” said Jenkins, referring to Astorino’s deputy county executive and chief of staff.
Astorino, who was elected to his second term in November, has not officially declared his candidacy for governor but has set up a fundraising committee called Astorino for Governor and launched a website. He’s also been criticizing Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who he has said is managing the state’s decline and has suggested the state is “losing” under Cuomo.
Bill O’Reilly, a spokesman for Astorino, did not respond to messages seeking comment on Sunday.
Jenkins, who ran for county executive last year but did not secure the Democratic nomination, accused Astorino of lying to Westchester voters by promising to serve for four years. However, the quotes Jenkins cites only say Astorino was asking voters for another four years or was looking forward to his next term.
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(Photo of Astorino by Peter Carr/The Journal News)