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Election Center 2014

Gubernatorial Candidate Bios

ANDREW CUOMOLink to official website for more information.

Andrew Cuomo is the Democratic candidate for New York State Governor. He became the 56th governor of New York in 2011. Cuomo is from Jamaica, Queens and received a Bachelor of Arts from Fordham University in 1979. He then attended Albany Law School, where he received his juris doctor.. which is a professional doctorate in law… in 1982.

Cuomo began his political career by serving as a top aide for his father, Mario Cuomo’s, gubernatorial campaign in 1982. He then turned his attention to combating homelessness. In 1986, Cuomo founded the Housing Enterprise for Less Privileged, or HELP, which worked to assist people needing transitional or low-income housing. His work with HELP led to his appointment to lead the New York City Commission on the Homeless in 1991. in 1997, Cuomo was appointed by President Bill Clinton Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

Cuomo served as the 64th Attorney General of New York from 2007-2010 before becoming governor. During his time as Attorney General, Cuomo drew attention to issues such as student loan debt, environmental pollution, internet safety, and health insurance fraud.

During Cuomo’s leadership as governor, roughly 440,000 jobs have been created in New York State. Residents are also paying the lowest middle class income tax rate since 1953. Unemployment is also at its lowest rate in five years, at 6.7 percent. If elected governor, this will be his second term.

ROB ASTORINO Link to official campaign website for more information.

Rob Astorino is the Republican candidate for New York State governor. He’s currently serving as County Executive of Westchester County. Astorino received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Fordham University, while minoring in Spanish and Political Science. He’s fluent in Spanish, and received a Spanish Immersion Diploma from the Enforex School of International Studies.

Astorino was first elected to public office at 21, when he served as a member of the Mount Pleasant Board of Education. Astorino then went on to served for twelve more years on the Mount Pleasant Town Board, including a six-year stint as deputy supervisor. He was elected to the Westchester Board of Legislators in 2003.

Astorino first ran for County Executive in 2005. After losing the race, he ran again in 2009. He defeated Andy Spano and is currently serving his second term as county executive. Astorino was re-elected in 2013 by a margin of 13 points. Only about 24 percent of voters in Westchester County are Republican.

Astorino has made yearly consecutive cuts to property taxes in Westchester County. Overall spending in the county has been reduced by about five percent under him. Since 2010, 30,000 new private-sector jobs have been created in Westchester County.

Not only is Astorino active in politics, but he’s also dabbled in the radio industry. He served as station manager and program director for Sirius-XM Satellite Radio’s The Catholic Channel. Astorino co-hosted a weekly radio show with the archbishop of New York.  He also served as senior producer for ESPN Radio and as the executive producer of The Michael Kay Show.

Astorino is married to his wife, Sheila. They have three children together. Astorino has lived in Westchester County for his entire life, and continues to live there to this day.

HOWIE HAWKINSLink to official campaign website for more information.

Howie Hawkins the candidate representing the Green Party in the race for New York State Governor. Born in San Francisco, Hawkins has been involved in politics since a young age. He protested issues such as the Vietnam war and racial discrimination. Upon graduation from Burlingame High School, he attended Dartmouth College. After, Hawkins worked various jobs until coming to Syracuse in 1991 to be the Director of a company called CommonWorks.

Hawkins is both a co-founder of the Green Party and the Clamshell Alliance, an anti-nuclear organization. He serves as secretary of the board of the Eat to Live Cooperative, a local fresh food co-op out of Syracuse’s South Side. Hawkins is also a member of the Southside Community Coalition.

Hawkins has run for several government positions throughout the New York State, including Syracuse Common Council, Mayor of Syracuse, Representative in the House and New York State Comptroller.

This isn’t Hawkins’ first experience as a gubernatorial candidate. He ran as a representative of New York’s Green Party in 2010. Hawkins advocated for alternative measures to managing spending. Instead of making cuts to schools and public services, Hawkins suggested progressive taxes. Hawkins placed third in the 2010 election and received enough votes to keep the Green Party on the ballot through this year.

Hawkins currently works for UPS and is extremely active in several unions and labor organizations.

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