Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino on Tuesday touted the 62,000 signatures he gathered to form a Stop Common Core ballot line as the "single largest petition operation in New York State history."
Formation of the ballot line required only 15,000 signatures, but Astorino
said in a press release that the campaign gathered its 62,000 signatures from
across all 62 counties in New York.
Astorino began working to form the Stop Common Core ballot line in early
July, and unabashedly admitted that it was an attempt to pull typically
Democratic voters away from voting to re-elect Governor Andrew Cuomo.
"This is an opportunity for people to either make a statement or to
truly vote for me — either one," Astorino said in July.
In response to Astorino's statements, Jenny Sedlis, executive director of
StudentsFirstNY, called the formation of the ballot line in opposition to new
academic standards a "cynical ploy to exploit confusion about the Common
Sedlis also said the Stop Common Core effort shows Astorino is "not
serious about the challenges facing public education," or "about what
it takes to be governor."
Astorino's release said the signatures gathered
came from "Democrats, Republicans, independents, teachers, parents and
students," and that the number of supporters sent a "loud and
clear" message to Cuomo of a lack of support for Common Core