Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, who is waging an underdog campaign for governor against strong incumbent Andrew Cuomo, is looking to tap into anger over the state's Common Core standards by creating a ballot line this fall to stop the policy.
Newsday writes that the Republican challenger will need 15,000 signatures on a petition by next month to make the ballot line "Stop Common Core" a reality. Astorino's own children do not participate in the Common Core exams.
“Our family’s protest tomorrow is a symbolic one,” Astorino said in a four-minute video March 31 that he posted on his campaign website. “But as parents, we think it’s important to take a stand. Our children aren’t guinea pigs, Governor Cuomo, and we want them educated by teachers – not faceless bureaucrats in Washington.”
On Syracuse.com, reporter Michelle Breidenbach writes that Cuomo campaign spokesperson Peter Kaufman said Astorino's move to create the ballot line was "pathetic pandering." If successful, Astorino will gain votes from three lines, Republican, Conservative and Stop Common Core.
"These more rigorous standards will be used to help New York students better prepare for college and career," Kauffman told Syracuse.com.