Rob Astorino

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Rob Astorino
Westchester County Executive
Incumbent
Assumed office
January 1, 2010
Preceded byAndy Spano
Westchester County Legislator

3rd District

In office
2003–2005
Preceded bySue Swanson
Succeeded byJohn M. Nonna
Personal details
BornMay 3, 1967
Mount Vernon, New York
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Sheila McCloskey
Children3
ResidenceMount Pleasant, New York
OccupationRadio Producer
Broadcaster
Politician
ReligionRoman Catholic
Websitewww.robastorino.com
 
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Rob Astorino
Westchester County Executive
Incumbent
Assumed office
January 1, 2010
Preceded byAndy Spano
Westchester County Legislator

3rd District

In office
2003–2005
Preceded bySue Swanson
Succeeded byJohn M. Nonna
Personal details
BornMay 3, 1967
Mount Vernon, New York
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Sheila McCloskey
Children3
ResidenceMount Pleasant, New York
OccupationRadio Producer
Broadcaster
Politician
ReligionRoman Catholic
Websitewww.robastorino.com

Rob Astorino (born May 3, 1967) is the Westchester County Executive and an American media personality and politician who is a radio host and program director for the Catholic Channel on SIRIUS Satelitte Radio. He was one of the founders of 1050 AM ESPN Radio in New York City, and worked as the station's Executive Producer, and as Executive Producer of the of The Michael Kay Show. He is also a television host on the MSG Network.

Astorino served as a member of the Westchester County Board of Legislators from 2003 to 2005, when he launched an unsuccessful bid to unseat Westchester County Executive Andy Spano. In 2009, he was elected County Executive as a Republican, defeating Andy Spano. He resides in Mount Pleasant, New York with his wife and two children.

Contents

Early career and background

Astorino grew up in Thornwood, New York where he attended Westlake High School, and enrolled in Fordham University where he received a Bachelors of Arts in Communications in 1989.[1] At the age of twenty one, while attending college, he was elected to the Mount Pleasant Board of Education, but resigned two years later to take a position at WFAS radio in White Plains.[2] He later attended the Enforex School of International Studies in Barcelona, Spain where he became fluent in Spanish.[1]

He is a member the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists.[3] After graduating, he hosted the weeknight sports shows Inside Sports on WFAS radio, served as host and producer of Sports Rap on the Sports Channel television network.[4] In 2001, he helped launch ESPN Radio in New York City.[5][6]

Astorino is also an anchor for the MSG Network program Talk of our Town.[3] He is the recipient of the Associated Press award for Best Spot News Coverage and award for Best News Program, and the Metro New York Achievement in Radio award.[1]

ESPN radio

In 2001, he was one of the founders of 1050 ESPN Radio in New York.[6][7] He directed the rebranding of New York's WEVD-AM 1050 from a Walt Disney radio station to an all sports format.[8] He became the station's Senior Producer, and worked as Executive Producer of The Michael Kay Show.[9] He was promoted to Station Executive Producer and served until 2005, when he resigned to run for County Executive.[10][11]

As the producer of the 4 to 7 PM time slot, the team of talent assembled by Astorino included Michael Kay and Joey Salvia, and helped the show in its success against long time afternoon sports radio mainstay Mike and the Mad Dog on WFAN.[12][13] His accomplishments include securing broadcast rights for the New York Knicks and New York Rangers, also at the expense of WFAN.[12]

Satellite radio

In 2007, Astorino was hired as the first program director for SIRIUS Satellite Radio's The Catholic Channel.[6] He hosts a Thursday night program with Cardinal Edward Egan, the archbishop of the Archdiocese of New York.[6]

Astorino was hesitant at first to work on religious radio, but he changed his mind when he found out the Catholic Channel would be different.[14] He stated, "I think it's a great opportunity not just for the archdiocese but for the Catholic Church as a whole to reach out to people across the country with a message, and have a two-way conversation."[6]

According to the Journal News, "With total authority over programming, the Archdiocese of New York was given the rare opportunity to play Michelangelo and create something new. Egan, who is not known to be a great communicator like his predecessor, Cardinal John O'Connor, gave the project his blessing. In addition to his show, he welcomes Sirius listeners when Sunday Mass from St. Patrick's Cathedral is broadcast."[14]

Political career

In 1991, Astorino defeated an incumbent Town Councilman in Mount Pleasant and was elected to the town board. He was reelected in 1995 and 1999.[3] During his tenure on the town board, he served six years as Deputy Supervisor and 8 years as Chairman of the Public Safety Committee, which oversees the police department.[2]

Westchester County Executive Andrew O'Rourke appointed Astorino to the Westchester County Board of Ethics in 1996, and he was reappointed by O'Rourke's successor, Andy Spano in 1999.[1] He served one term on the Westchester County Board of Legislators, and ran an aggressive campaign as a candidate for County Executive in 2005.[15] Astorino was among the finalists for Lieutenant Governor to gubernatorial candidate John Faso in 2006.[16]

County legislature

In 2003, Astorino announced he was a candidate to replace retiring County Legislator Sue Swanson, who represented a district encompassing Mount Pleasant, Pleasantville, North Castle, West Harrison, and portions of northern Greenburgh.[17] Astorino defeated his challenger with an aggressive campaign, which according to the Journal News, "raised the bar" for candidacies to the Board of Legislators.[18]

As a County legislator, Astorino was involved in plans to redevelop the Saw Mill River Parkway and restore wetlands, which is often flooded dangerously during rain storms, and coordinated meetings between the environmentalist groups, New York State Department of Transportation and the United States Army Corps of Engineers in 2005.[19] He helped the board stop Westchester's payments of a "franchise fee" to their bus operator, Liberty Transit Inc., after drawing attention that the contract with the company did not provide for such a payment.[20]

Once elected, he served on the committees for parks & recreation; housing; health; public & safety & criminal justice; youth; and county officers & departments.[1] After serving only two years, Astorino opted not to run for reelection, instead focusing on a challenge to incumbent County Executive Andy Spano.[21] As an outgoing legislator, he opposed the pay increases that were enacted for board members.[22]

2005 race for County Executive

The 2005 campaign for Westchester County Executive pitted the two-term Democratic incumbent Andy Spano, against Astorino, a Republican.[3] The race featured instances where Astorino publicized a homemade video of a security breach at the County's Kenisco dam, while the incumbent, according to the New York Times, "in the face of record property-tax increases, has busied himself with a campaign against steroids for schoolchildren, as a follow-up to an anti-bullying initiative that featured admonitions from Spider-Man."[15][23]

As of 2008, real property taxes in Westchester have increased in Westchester by 54% since 2000.[24] Making the tax issue the centerpiece of his campaign, he railed against two straight years of double digit property tax increases in the county budget, and called Spano out of touch with voters, criticizing a visit to China by Spano during the seven-week Bee Line Bus strike which cost taxpayers $3 million.[25][26]

Facing an uphill battle in a Democratic County against an incumbent who raised four times as much money, Astorino made a surprisingly strong showing and was defeated by 30,000 votes.[27][28] Overall voter turnout was light and incumbents were largely successful throughout the County.[29]

2009 race for County Executive

On March 21, 2009, Astorino announced that he would be running again for Westchester County Executive.[28][30] In a stunning upset, he was elected to the position on November 3, 2009, defeating incumbent Andy Spano by 16 percentage points.[31]

Electoral history

Westchester County Executive, 2005[32]
PartyCandidateVotes%±%
DemocraticAndy Spano (Incumbent)111,74658.2%Democrat hold
RepublicanRob Astorino80,13941.8%
Westchester County Legislator - District 3, 2003[33]
PartyCandidateVotes%±%
DemocraticJohn M. Nonna5,07447.7%
RepublicanRob Astorino5,56452.3%Republican hold

Notes

  1. ^ a b c d e "Robert Astorino, Legislator-District 3". Westchester County Board of Legislators. Retrieved on March 17, 2008.
  2. ^ a b O'Connor, Anahad. "Less Widely Known, but Not Cowed". New York Times. October 30, 2005.
  3. ^ a b c d "About Rob". Astorino for County Executive. Retrieved March 17, 2008.
  4. ^ Cafaro, Danny. "Sportschannel aims for the human side of Tartabull". The Record. August 7, 1993.
  5. ^ McBride, Cliff. "Home, But Far From Alone". Tampa Bay Online. January 21, 2007.
  6. ^ a b c d e McDonnell, Claudi. "Archdiocese, Sirius Satellite Radio launch the Catholic Channel". Catholic New York. December 7, 2006.
  7. ^ "Bearden, Michelle. Home, but far frome alone". Tampa Tribune. January 21, 2007.
  8. ^ "The biz: ESPN radio looks to score". Advertising Age. June 24, 2002.
  9. ^ West, Debra. "The Water Log". New York Times. October 9, 2005.
  10. ^ Holloway, Kevin. "NYC's 1050 ESPN Radio partners with PGA TOUR Radio". PGA Tour Radio. March 1, 2002.
  11. ^ Fuchs, Marek. "Why Radio Loosened Brian Williams's Tongue". New York Times. October 16, 2005.
  12. ^ a b McManus, Jane. "Kay goes head to head with 'Mad Dog'". Journal News. January 7, 2005.
  13. ^ Buro, John J. "The SportsFan Magazine Interview: Michael Kay". SportsFan Magazine. January 18, 2005.
  14. ^ a b Stern, Gary. "Catholic radio brings church to new medium". Journal News. May 1, 2007.
  15. ^ a b Reisman, Phil. "Surfing these Web sites could cure case of insomnia". Journal News. October 16, 2005.
  16. ^ Blainn, Glenn. "Astorino Working For KT". Journal News. April 5, 2006.
  17. ^ Anderson, Liz. "Astorino weighs his future". Journal News. May 4, 2007.
  18. ^ "Our recommendations for Westchester Board of Legislators". Journal News. October 28, 2007.
  19. ^ Lombardi, Kate Stone. "Remember: It's the Saw Mill RIVER Parkway". New York Times. November 20, 2005.
  20. ^ B.Z. Khasru. "Liberty's 'franchise fee' is not in county contract". Westchester Business Journal. April 11, 2005.
  21. ^ Medina, Jennifer. "Republican Claims Victory in the Race to Replace Pirro". New York Times. November 9, 2005.
  22. ^ Fuchs, Marek. "Pols Deserve A Raise? Says Who?". New York Times. December 25, 2005.
  23. ^ Fuchs, Marek. "Wait a Minute: Why Are We Running Again?". New York Times. October 30, 2005.
  24. ^ "Republican County Legislators Speak Out Against Raises and Budget". westchester.com. December 14, 2007.
  25. ^ Philippidis, Alex. "Business Leaders Fume As County Taxes Zoom". Westchester County Business Journal. February 16, 2004.
  26. ^ B.Z. Khasru. "Free bus rides will cost county $3 million". Westchester Business Journal. May 2, 2005.
  27. ^ O'Connor, Anahad. "The Leader in This Race Isn't Sweating". New York Times. October 23, 2005.
  28. ^ a b Blain, Glenn. "Astorino gearing up for 2009?". Journal News. January 23, 2008.
  29. ^ Philippidis, Alex. "Complacency, development issues sway local vote". Westchester Business Journal. November 14, 2005.
  30. ^ Blain, Glenn. "Astorino’s big announcement". Journal News. May 11, 2007.
  31. ^ Applebome, Peter. "The Voters Barked. Now What?". New York Times. November 4, 2009.
  32. ^ "2005 General Canvass Election Results". Westchester County Board of Elections. 2005. http://www.westchestergov.com/boe/images/2005%20Gen%20Canvass%20Bk.pdf. 
  33. ^ "2003 General Canvass Election Results". Westchester County Board of Elections. 2003. http://www.westchestergov.com/boe/images/2003%20Gen%20Canvass%20Bk.pdf. 

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Sue Swanson
Westchester County Legislator, 3rd District
2003-2005
Succeeded by
John M. Nonna
Preceded by
Andy Spano
Westchester County Executive
2010-
Succeeded by
incumbent