Why Westchester Democrats Want Astorino to Run

Because he’ll say more things like this about New York’s popular gun control measures.

Rob AstorinoRob Astorino thinks that voters make informed, rational, non-partisan choices. He likes to tell the story of how political experts called him crazy in 2009 if he thought a pro-life candidate could win in Westchester. But he is proudly pro-life, he would not pretend otherwise — and boy did he show those so-called experts. Voters veered from Row A just to vote for him. He’s that special.

He did it again in 2013. The Bramson campaign painted him as a typical Tea Party Republican — opposed to abortion even when a woman’s health is at risk, opposed to a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, opposed to marriage equality — but voters just liked him so much they overlooked all the spooky right-wing innuendo. They (a) thought the values issues weren’t relevant to the job of county executive; (b) cared about nothing but taxes; and/or (c) were brainwashed by the “Westchester Just Can’t Afford Noam Bramson” media onslaught.

But if Astorino runs for governor, those factors will all play in the opposite direction. His right-wing views on guns, women, and gays will be amplified by a state-wide campaign and matter to voters very much more than they do in an off-year local election. His carefully drawn bipartisan smile will start to look very different to the Democrats and independents who split their votes in November, and they’ll start to judge his other policies in the context of his Carl Paladino compliments.

Westchester Democrats have been looking for an opening to criticize Astorino for five years; if he runs for governor, they’ll finally have it.