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Rob Astorino, Westchester’s County Executive, has been involved with pay to play schemes, aligned himself with Trump on countless legally and morally questionable policies, and benefited from the dark money of a Trump supporter with ties to Brietbart. So why is he even competitive in the County Executive Race?
Westchester has more registered Democrats than Republicans. Our County Legislature has more Democratic Legislators than Republicans. But twice we have elected a Republican to County Executive. Astorino clearly does not represent the majority of Westchester residents, and he has vetoed critical legislation passed by our elected officials. Why has he even won any elections?
It’s argued that the voters elect Astorino because he keeps taxes flat and voters care more about their money than their values. If that’s the true, we should be ashamed of ourselves, and we’re idiots. Astorino has kept County taxes, a relatively small portion of our property taxes, flat by mismanaging the County’s finances. New York Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli put out an annual report on municipalities' fiscal stress in September 2017. Westchester was the 7th most fiscally stressed municipality in New York State.
The other more compelling argument for why Astorino has won elections is that Democrat voters don’t turnout in off-year contests.
In the 2013 County Executive Election, there were 261,449 registered Democrats and 132,593 registered Republicans. Only 74,964 Democrats voted while 88,645 Republicans voted. That’s a roughly 29% turnout for Democrats versus a 67% turnout for Republicans. Astorino could not possibly win if Democrats turn out to vote at the same rate as Republicans.
If you want a County Executive that represents your values, Democrats must get out and vote for George Latimer on November 7th. It starts with each one of us.
Sincerely, Mary Cronin
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