The 2014 New York gubernatorial race was in full swing last night as presumptive Republican nominee Rob Astorino spoke to the College Republicans at NYU.
Astorino spoke to a full house of supporters including university students from NYU, Fordham, Columbia and Pace.
Sebastian Albrecht travelled from Fordham’s Bronx campus to the Kimmel Center for University Life to see Astorino.
“I’m interested to learn about him and get to know him as a candidate,” Albrecht said. “It’s really important for College Republicans from different campuses to get together like this.”
The event allowed students to talk with the candidate on issues surrounding this year’s election. Megan Powers, vice president of the College Republicans, said the event served as an introduction to Astorino.
“Most people don’t know anything about Astorino, especially not that he’s running for governor,” Powers said. “This is a chance to hear what Astorino is actually for, as opposed to just ‘anti-Cuomo.’”
Astorino had no reservations when speaking about the current state of New York.
“We’re doing the worst in multiple categories,” Astorino said. “Every state in America gets to say, ‘Thank God we’re not New York,’ and that’s a shame.”
When asked what he would like to change first as governor, Astorino named employment.
“We have to make the economy more hospitable [to businesses] by removing regulations and lowering taxes.” Astorino said.
Astorino expressed particular interest in cleaning up the corruption which has plagued Albany for years.
“We have the most corruption in America,” Astorino said. “It’s the democratic culture of corruption which has made New York the toughest place in America to do business.”
The candidate’s words were well received by students at the meeting.
“He is what the party needs,” Steinhardt junior Anthony Sganga said. “If he can get his message out there, then he can beat Gov. Cuomo.”
Social media have been increasingly crucial for campaigns across the country.
“Social media is how we level the playing field against Cuomo,” Astorino said. “Cuomo has $16 billion, but we’re getting close.”
Currently, Cuomo holds a 35-point polling lead over Astorino, according to the most recent Siena Poll released on March 24.
“Cuomo has some explaining to do,” Astorino said. “I can’t wait to have that debate.”
*Anthony Sganga copy edited for WSN during the fall 2013 semester.
Graham Rapier is a contributing writer. Email him at [email protected].