Now that he has officially announced his candidacy for governor of New York, what does Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino plan to do to 'fix' the Empire State?

Astorino joined WIBX First News with Keeler in the Morning to talk about his candidacy just days after appearing on the show and all but announcing that he would run.

''New York is really at a crossroads - $400,000 people have left this state in just the last three years. You can't even get a moving van, they're already booked. People have got to feel that there is hope, like this state isn't on such a wrong track that it isn't going to come back,'' Astorino said.

How do you overcome Governor Cuomo's high approval ratings, even among Republicans?

''You can talk all you want about how great things are going, but more and more people are coming to the conclusion that this Governor has really not done anything in a real way. You can bluff all you want, but at the end of a poker game, you've got to show what you've got,'' he said, citing New York's 'highest taxes in the nation' and an 'unacceptable' unemployment rate.

What the governor should be doing is making the state more competitive than our competitors, he said.

''We are dead last, 50th, dead last, in business climate. You either have solutions or illusions,'' Astorino said.

On Education, host Bill Keeler pressed Astorino on equal funding for districts, especialy upstate, but thought his answer sounded much like the incumbents:

''The school in Westchester or Long Island are screaming bloody murder, too, about the GAP elimination...,'' Astorino said.

''There is a huge difference between the opportunity for students upstate vs. downstate,'' Keeler said.

Astorino acknowledged the funding system was unfair and 'political', and spoke favorably about parent choice and charter schools.

This, however, is something local officials are in the midst of fighting. They argue that charter schools are taking funding away from public districts that are already underfunded to begin with.

Full interview: