Updated 6:30 p.m. WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- The New York Times is reporting that Gov. Andrew Cuomo has spoken to top GOP officials within the state and warned them about nominating Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino to be their gubernatorial candidate.
Theories abound as to why Cuomo took this unexpected step in what could be a gubernatorial battle between Westchester residents. Cuomo is a Mount Kisco resident, while Astorino lives in Mount Pleasant.
According to the article, some believe it is his desire to secure his bid for re-election by muddling the Republican race.
Others believe Astorino's far-right stance on social issues could cause moderate voters to turn against Senate Republicans, whom Cuomo has a strong working relationship with, the Times said.
William O'Reilly, campaign spokesman for Astorino, said, ”As for Gov. Cuomo, it's clear he doesn't want to face Rob Astorino in the fall. Rob has a strong tax and economic record, he's popular and the state is badly falling behind other areas of the country in population and job loss."
"I wouldn't want to run against Astorino either. Those are his exact issues," he said.
Suzanne Samin contributed to this report.