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Rob Astorino Expects To Make Decision On Gubernatorial Run By Friday

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

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

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino insisted Monday he hasn’t yet decided if he’ll challenge Gov. Andrew Cuomo in November.

But Astorino told WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell he’s committed to making a decision by Friday. In the meantime, the Republican, who was re-elected as county executive last year, is working to line up donors.

“It’s not just about money, but it’s about money,” Astorino said with a laugh. “Unless you raise enough to get the message out, you’re just sort of talking to yourself.”

Astorino, 46, would not say how much he hopes to raise.

“But I can tell you it won’t be anywhere near what the governor has,” he said.

Cuomo is expected to bring in up to $40 million.

Astorino said he thinks the state can do better than it has done under Cuomo’s leadership.

“We’re losing the most people out of our state than any other state in the country,” Astorino said. “We have the highest taxes. We have the worst business climate.”

Astorino said a possible run by Donald Trump won’t impact his decision.

One recent poll showed Astorino trailing Cuomo by 34 percentage points. Another found that 76 percent of respondents didn’t know Astorino or had no opinion of him.

“He’s got his work cut out for him,” said Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist Poll. “He has to become well known, he has to make a case that Cuomo needs to go and that he’s seen as the alternative.”

Cuomo, who lives in Westchester County, hasn’t spoken publicly about an Astorino candidacy but has pointed out that Westchester is still by some measures the most heavily taxed county in the country.

But most of those taxes are not levied by the county, and Astorino has kept a 2009 campaign promise not to raise county property taxes.

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