On Oct 31, 2014, gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino and his running mate Sheriff Chris Moss came to Binghamton to speak with supporters and the public at large as the final days before the election tick away. It was a short trip as the candidates were on a multi-district tour of Upstate New York, but the energy in the conference hall at the Holiday Inn in downtown Binghamton, NY made up for any brevity.
The mid-day rally gathered an estimated 110 – 160 supporters. This includes local elected officials such as State Senator Tom Libous, Assemblyman Clifford Crouch, and Sheriff David Harder (each an incumbent seeking re-election). In addition Broome County Executive Debbie Preston, Binghamton Mayor Rich David, Johnson City Mayor Greg Deemie, County Clerk Rick Blythe, Binghamton Councilman Chris Papastrat, Broome County Republican Party Chairman Bijoy Datta, and candidate Mike Baker for Family Court Judge were also in attendance. Both Executive Preston and Sheriff Harder took the opportunity to endorse Astorino and Moss, respectively.
Sheriff Moss, a well known opponent of Gov. Cuomo’s NY Safe Act signature legislation, spoke directly to the power of the voters to resolve the challenges facing New York. His focus was on reminding voters to get on November 4, 2014 as the issues facing the States are critical. He said in part,
“If we want to de-regulate, if we want to lower taxes, if we want to repeal the Safe Act, repeal Common Core, this is our chance Tuesday, November 4th.”
Rob Astorino, the County Executive of Westchester County, detailed the effort he and his running mate have expended over the past 7 months to reach the public. The two drove a combined 80,000 miles crisscrossing all 62 districts of the State, Astorino stated to the enthusiastic crowd. That effort was coupled with his vision to redefine the State as a business friendly opportunity – in part with the introduction of rules and regulations that would allow hydrofracking with in the State in his first 90 days if elected, as well as lowering taxes and instituting term limits. This counters the inaction of Gov. Cuomo to resolve the “fracking” issue though Cuomo had promised decisive action when first elected.
Rob Astorino went on to state,
“His [Gov. Cuomo] New York is very different than the real New York…But the economy in New York is not good. You know what it grew last year? … 0.7%, and Andrew Cuomo is taking victory laps for that?”
Thus far in the election cycle Gov. Cuomo, has not visited Binghamton. His last visit was in 2013, even though Cuomo’s Start-Up New York program drew 5 new businesses to Binghamton University – for a total of 80 jobs at the cost of 10 years of tax revenue. Gov. Cuomo called the news a “game-changing move” for New York at that time. The current employment rate for Binghamton is 6.3% and according to George Winner in the New York Post,
“A recent US Conference of Mayors report says outlook for much of the state is anemic all the way to 2020. This is especially so upstate, in areas like Binghamton and Utica.”
Ultimately, voters will decide the fate of all the issues facing New York State. November 4, 2014 is Tuesday and poll are open from 6 AM until 9 PM.