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Cuomo And Astorino Trade Insults In Early Attack Ads

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Photo credit: Spencer Platt / Getty Images

Rob Astorino has yet to be named the official Republican candidate for the 2014 gubernatorial race in New York, but it’s clear that Governor Andrew Cuomo already regards Astorino as the eventual candidate.

Even though the state’s Republican party isn’t about to name its official candidate for several weeks, Cuomo’s already begun to blast his possible opponent in multiple attack ads. However, Astorino’s prepared to defend himself, and whether that defense involves the release of an equally negative video or an intense gubernatorial debate, we will see very soon.

Governor Cuomo Accuses Rob Astorino Of Violating Anti-Discrimination Laws

In an effort to get a head start on what could be a very competitive gubernatorial bid, Governor Cuomo released a series of attack ads.

The first advertisement, dubbed “Contempt,” shed light on Astorino’s long feud with the federal government over his alleged failure to follow anti-discrimination laws in Westchester.

The second ad shared many similarities with the first, branding Astorino as the only county executive in the United States who failed to comply with anti-discrimination laws. As the “New York Daily News” points out, these ads were released three weeks before the Republican gubernatorial convention.

Cuomo’s campaign already assumes that Astorino will be nominated as the Republican candidate, and thus, is eager to begin chipping away at his credibility.

Rob Astorino Responds To Governor Cuomo’s Attack Ads

Suffice to say, Astorino was not happy with Governor Cuomo’s recent advertisements. In an effort to refute Cuomo’s accusations, the county executive released a blistering attack of his own. He referred to the governor as “cowardly” for his decision to use the “race card,” especially when, according to Astorino, Cuomo knew that it did not apply at all to his established record in Westchester.

In his recent video, Astorino explained that he was not simply bothered by the personal attack on his character. He also expressed anger at what he perceived as Cuomo’s labeling of the residents of Westchester as racist.

Astorino claims that the Westchester population agrees with his allegedly discriminatory stance on federal zoning laws; many of these individuals have spoken out against the federal legislation, accusing the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) of attempting to take control of local zoning. Others have defended the community by pointing to its status as one of the most diverse counties in the state.

After all, as Astorino pointed out in an earlier “New York Times” editorial, Westchester is the fourth most diverse county in the state of New York.

The Future Of The Astorino Versus Cuomo Campaign

Assuming that Rob Astorino is nominated as the official Republican candidate for the gubernatorial race (and clearly, Governor Cuomo has made that assumption), things will only get dirtier as the campaign continues. According to the “New York Post,” Astorino has already invited Cuomo to a debate, as he is eager to stand up for the residents of Westchester.

Whether or not this particular debate takes place, it’s likely that an official one will occur in coming months. Until then, New York residents can expect their televisions to blow up with nasty campaign ads.
If Rob Astorino and Governor Cuomo’s recent exchange proves anything, it’s that the state of New York is in for a long and negative gubernatorial campaign.

Whether the candidates are accused of engaging in discriminatory activity or throwing the race card, they aren’t likely to back down anytime soon.

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