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Rob Astorino Forms Exploratory Committee For Gubernatorial Run

Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino (credit: westchestergov.com)

Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino (credit: westchestergov.com)

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ALBANY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Republican Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino has created a campaign committee for governor as he considers a challenge to Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

The Astorino for Governor committee was registered with the state Board of Elections on Monday. Spokeswoman Jessica Proud said Astorino continues to weigh running as he takes the step this week of creating an exploratory committee.

Astorino appointed former state Republican Party Executive Director Michael Lawler to manage the committee.

Astorino has said he will make a final decision on the race in about a month.

Westchester’s executive since 2010, Astorino has ratcheted up his criticism of Cuomo in recent weeks on topics such as taxes and medical marijuana. He also was one of the first politicians last month to blast and then call for Cuomo to apologize after the governor said during a radio appearance that extreme conservatives “have no place in the state of New York.” Cuomo’s office later said the governor was referring only to such candidates who are seeking statewide office.

Astorino was re-elected as Westchester County executive in November, defeating New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson.

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