Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino says he’s ready for an all-out Democratic blitz..
In an interview with radio host and New York Post columnist Fred Dicker this morning, Mr. Astorino said he expects Andrew Cuomo’s re-election campaign to try to hunt down people from his past in an effort to dig up dirt against him.
“I’m sure they are trying to find out every person I’ve ever talked to in my life and that’s the game they play and so, I’m expecting it,” said Mr. Astorino, the current Westchester County executive. “But I certainly am going to talk to the people of this state over the next six months or so about Andrew Cuomo’s record, what he has not done, and how this state is in a sharp decline and what I will do to turn this state around just like I turned Westchester around.”
Mr. Astorino has said that his challenge–though regarded by many observers as a long-shot–is receiving increasing scrutiny from Mr. Cuomo. As the Observer first reported earlier this week, the head of a local Chinese civic association said he was questioned by a top Cuomo aide before hosting an Astorino press event.
Mr. Astorino joked this week that he had, “a bet going with my staff over who saw the guest list for this event first — the NSA, Andrew Cuomo, or Crain’s. My money’s on Cuomo,” according to prepared remarks.
“Apparently he’s been missing in action all over the state and all of a sudden now, right before the election, he’s trying to trail everywhere I go,” Mr. Astorino told the Observer Tuesday.
While there’s no direct evidence that Mr. Cuomo’s campaign machine is revving up their scrutiny of Mr. Astorino, the campaign itself is taking shape with an anti-Astorino operation called “Astorino Truth Squad” regularly pumping out opposition research and counter-messaging.
Mr. Cuomo’s office did not immediately return a request for comment.