Gubernatorial candidates finalize campaigns

Photo credit: Associated Press

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo crossed the state Monday and Republican Rob Astorino hit the airwaves as the two candidates made their final pitch before voters decide the race for governor.

Cuomo rallied hundreds of union health care workers, carpenters and hotel employees in Manhattan’s Times Square before heading to campaign events in Albany and Buffalo.

Photo Credit: Associated Press
Photo Credit: Associated Press

Appearing with his running mate, former Buffalo congresswoman Kathy Hochul, Cuomo cited his work to lower taxes, invest in the upstate economy and address gridlock while passing gay marriage and gun control.

Astorino, the Westchester County executive, did several television and radio interviews and met with shoppers on Staten Island and seniors in Brooklyn before a final election rally.

Polls give Cuomo a double-digit lead, but Astorino said he thinks the race is tipping in his favor. Cuomo told reporters in Albany that he is just focused on victory, not the score.

“The margins are baloney. The margins people remember for a month,” he said. “I just want to win. I want to win.”

Astorino, whose running mate is Chemung County Sheriff Chris Moss, cited the 1994 race, when Republican George Pataki defeated Cuomo’s father, Democratic Gov. Mario Cuomo. He dismissed speculation that he was only mounting a dry run for another race.

The Republican argues Cuomo hasn’t done enough to boost the economy or address Albany corruption.

“He’s panicked,” Astorino told Fox 5 News. “He really feels we can win this race tomorrow. I think he feels it slipping away just like it did in 1994 with his father when nobody thought his father could lose.”

Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins, meanwhile, was hoping to build on his third-place finish in 2010, saying his support for a $15 minimum wage and a ban on hydraulic fracturing for natural gas marks him as the only true progressive in the race.

___

Associated Press writers Jim Fitzgerald in White Plains and Jake Pearson in New York contributed to this report.

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