The anticipated nomination of Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino as GOP candidate for New York governor, will have to compete for attention this week with a visit from the president of the United States to Astorino’s home county.
None other than the commander-in-chief, President Barack Obama, will be making an appearance at the Tappan Zee Bridge on Wednesday, the same date the NYS GOP convention begins, 10 minutes down the road from the bridge.
The president is scheduled to tout the new bridge project as an example of his administration’s commitment to speeding up approvals for infrastructure projects and to ask Congress for more infrastructure spending as a deadline approaches in August. The federal government offered a $1.6 billion loan to pay for the project, expected to cost New York $3.9 billion total.
While it has been said that nothing in politics happens by accident, it is unclear whether the timing of the press conference is purposeful or accidental. Regardless, Governor Andrew Cuomo will be hoping Obama’s visit highlights the progress of the TZ project, which the governor considers a major first-term accomplishment.
The president will appear mid-afternoon on the Westchester County side of the bridge. The GOP Convention will be held in Rye Brook, Westchester just a few miles down NY Thruway 287.
During the 2013 Rockland and Westchester county executive campaigns, Democrats repeatedly attempted to leverage the star power of former President Bill Clinton, a Westchester resident, and many other heavyweights to help defeat Republicans Ed Day in Rockland and Astorino in Westchester. The GOP candidates both easily won election in the suburban counties, overcoming two-to-one enrollment advantages for the Democrats.