On Wednesday, State Republicans begin their two-day convention, where they're expected to nominate Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino to challenge Governor Andrew Cuomo. NY1's Zack Fink filed the following report.
Although he is not yet the official Republican nominee for governor, Rob Astorino has been active on the campaign trail this spring, making a recent stop at the rotary club in upstate Cortland.
The Westchester County executive is trying to highlight his record to voters across the state.
"We made some tough choices, and we had to do that, but we had to be the adult in the room," Astorino said. "We cut taxes in Westchester. We have already pledged for a fifth straight year that taxes will not be raised."
Astorino said his county budget today is smaller than when he took office. He points to 30,000 private-sector jobs that were added during his tenure, making Westchester one of the highest-employed counties in the state.
Astorino is particularly critical of Cuomo's statewide record on jobs and taxes.
"We are dead last, 50th in this country, in taxes. Our taxes are by and far the worst in the nation," he said. "And what are we getting for it?"
Republicans, however, have struggled recently in New York, particularly in statewide races, which they haven't won since 2002, when George Pataki was re-elected governor.
"I think the have an uphill climb and they have a long, long way to go," said Assemblyman Keith Wright of Manhattan, the chairman of the state Democratic Party. "It all starts with messaging, and I don't really think that their messaging is resonating with the people of the state of New York."
"The narrative that the Republican Party is dormant or dead is a false narrative," Astorino said.
Not only will Astorino be formally nominated on Thursday, but the candidates for comptroller and attorney general will also be nominated on Wednesday. Both men will avoid a primary.