ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Republican Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino has spent weeks unofficially running for New York governor, meeting potential supporters statewide and taking occasional jabs at Democrat Andrew Cuomo.
Gov. Cuomo isn't returning fire at Astorino, though he notes in speeches that Westchester is the nation's highest taxed county. And Astorino upset some Democrats over a joke he made three years ago about Medicaid recipients.
Welcome to the campaign before the official campaign.
With elections nine months away, this is the time when potential rivals shadowbox in their corners and maybe glare at each other. The main contest begins once possible challengers like Astorino or Donald Trump officially hit the campaign trail. This is a time for politicians to preview campaign themes, hone attack lines, raise money and express indignation.