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GOP candidate for governor Rob Astorino highlights his jobs plan for Upstate NY

Rob Astorino is seeking the GOP nomination for governor in the June 28 primary.
twitter @robastorino
Rob Astorino is seeking the GOP nomination for governor in the June 28 primary.

Republican candidates for governor continue to visit cities across the state ahead of the primary, which is just three weeks away. Early voting in Onondaga County actually begins less than two weeks from now. The latest candidate to stop in Syracuse as part of a campaign blitz across upstate was former Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino. The 2014 GOP nominee says New York is, and has been on the wrong track for decades.

"We're spending like crazy. We are taxing like crazy and we're driving people out of our state. Not that they want to go, but they're being forced away. So we've got to reverse course and in a meaningful way, we have to reduce taxes across the board."

Governor Hochul, and before her, Governor Cuomo, took credit for reducing taxes on the middle class to the lowest levels in decades. Astorino says high taxes are just part of the reason why businesses are closing or leaving the state.

"I hear it from small businesses all over between the regulations, the taxes and the unemployment insurance and the higher minimum wages. All of those things means it's more difficult for them to make any profit whatsoever."

He says has one of the worst economic outlooks in the nation, and his seven point upstate jobs plan aims to turn things around. Astorino wants to institute a moratorium on any new regulations, conduct a cost-benefit analysis of the hundreds of thousands of regulations currently on the books, and eliminate the most burdensome ones. He also wants to make low-cost energy a competitive advantage for the state.

"We're choking off our ability to have natural gas, including infrastructure, and a nuclear power plant has been shut down in Southern part of the state. We're only relying on renewables, as we go forward. And that, that to me is not sensible if we're gonna grow as an economy."

Astorino wants to lift the ban on natural gas exploration and drilling in the southern tier, as well as eliminate bans on natural gas pipelines and hookup in new construction. He says it was a mistake to close Indian Point Nuclear Plant downstate, and wants to explore building a new one in the North Country. Astorino’s other priorities include growing the state’s innovation economy, increasing the availability of skilled workers, and strengthening agriculture.

He’s seeking the republican nomination for governor along with Harry Wilson, Andrew Giuliani, and party designee Lee Zeldin. Primary election day is June 28, but early voting in Onondaga County begins on June 18.

See our previous coverage of Harry Wilson and Andrew Giuliani.

Scott Willis covers politics, local government, transportation, and arts and culture for WAER. He came to Syracuse from Detroit in 2001, where he began his career in radio as an intern and freelance reporter. Scott is honored and privileged to bring the day’s news and in-depth feature reporting to WAER’s dedicated and generous listeners. You can find him on twitter @swillisWAER and email him at