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April 16, 2014

GOP gubernatorial candidate swings through North Country

NORTH BANGOR — Republican Party gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino said he’d repeal the SAFE Act, entice businesses from neighboring states and encourage natural-gas fracking.

The Westchester County executive also said he would lower property taxes, build a collaborative relationship on land-claim issues with the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe and give counties more control over Medicaid if he is elected.

Astorino made a swing through upstate this week with planned stops in Syracuse, Watertown, Potsdam, Massena, Saranac Lake, Lake Placid, Malone and Plattsburgh.

He met for an hour with about 20 people at the Bangor Fire Station in North Bangor on Tuesday and said he needs their help to win since the North Country’s political leaning is predominantly Democrat.

Astorino encouraged them to follow him on Twitter and Facebook and to donate to his campaign against incumbent Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

“We’re not going to give him a run for his money, we’re going to run him out of town,” the candidate said, adding the state is losing among many economic and social indicators.

‘CULTURE OF CORRUPTION’

“We have the highest taxes, 40 percent more than the national average and an outflow of people,” Astorino said. “The Democratic Assembly has a disgusting culture of corruption, and the U.S. Attorney is starting to investigate the governor’s role in all of this.

“We are the laughingstock in many ways,” he continued. “We’re blessed with natural-gas shales, but the governor, for purely political reasons, has not allowed the state to safely explore natural gas. It would add billions to New York state and add jobs like it did in Pennsylvania.”

He called the Start-Up NY campaign “a gimmick” and said it is too restrictive to do any real good for businesses.

‘A LEAST A YELLOW LIGHT’

Keith Wells of Saranac Lake said the North Country needs to attract businesses that will bring high-paying jobs to boost the entire economy and wanted to know how Astorino would bring that about.

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