Westchester Race More About Abortion, Guns Than Roads

Friday, November 01, 2013

Candidates for Westchester County Executive 2013: Noam Bramson (D) and Rob Astorino (R) (image courtesy of the campaign websites)

The County Executive is Westchester's top job, with responsibilities that range from writing the budget to overseeing some road and bridge repairs. But this year's race sounds more like a battle for Congress or even the White House.

For New Rochelle mayor Democrat Noam Bramson, the race for Westchester County Executive against Republican incumbent Rob Astorino is about some of the most  emotional issues of our time.

One Bramson ad features relatives of people killed by gun violence and notes that, after taking office, Astorino brought gun shows back to the Westchester County Center. In another, Bramson stands in front of a Planned Parenthood outpost saying Astorino vetoed a law seeking to protect women entering health clinics from intimidation.

Astorino says he canceled the gun show after the shootings in Newtown, and opposed the clinic access bill because it would have impeded free speech and led to lawsuits. Plus, he says these sweeping social issues aren't what the race is really about anyway.  It's not guns so much as the bread-and-butter of budgets and management. 

"He can say what he wants as political rhetoric for the last, you know, several weeks of the campaign," Astorino said on the Brian Lehrer Show. "But I'm going to be judged by the people for what I've done here in Westchester."

Astorino touts his record reducing taxes. He said Bramson's record as mayor of New Rochelle doesn't come close.

"He got downgraded by Moody's. And while this was happening, he was cutting police and fire and giving himself a 40 percent pay hike while the world was collapsing," he said.

But Bramson says the bond rating is the same as it was when he took office, and the number of emergency personnel got smaller through attrition. Meanwhile, he says Astorino closed health clinics and raised the cost for parents of subsidized child care.

"Westchester voters have a choice between a common sense Clinton Democrat on the one hand and on the other hand someone who comes out of the Tea Party wing of the Republican Party," he said in an interview with WNYC's Brian Lehrer.

Astorino called that "nonsense."


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Comments [4]

Ellin from New Rochelle

Asttorino laughs when asked serious questions, but evades truth. He is not for "people" issues like land use and health care. He has not had an original idea yet. Why not give an intelligent, decent, creative person a chance to revitalize Westchester County before it's too late.

Nov. 04 2013 09:23 AM

County parks, nature centers, and nature preserves are a jewel in Westchester County. They provide immeasurable benefits to everyone, including maintained trails, protected environments, and programs for children and adults. Maintaining them now ensures will we have them going forward. Astorino has cut their budgets every year. I do not support his re-election.

Nov. 04 2013 08:40 AM
Maya from Westchester

Why do news agencies produce articles like this-- parroting what the candidates say without doing any fact-checking on the readers' behalf? There must be some truth one way or the other regarding the Moody's rating issue at least. WNYC, you can do better. This article was no more helpful for a voter than watching two political ads.

Nov. 04 2013 07:00 AM

Common sense is so scares these days, they actually think Bill Clinton is the ideal common sense guy. Never mind that it was his administration that started the current mess that we are in today with the economy and the housing market. Though to be fair, Clinton isn't fully to blame. Cuomo created the subprime mortgages.

Common sense. Common sense tells us to run away screaming from these people. They have no common sense.

Nov. 02 2013 10:24 PM

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