A pair of challengers to Gov. Andrew Cuomo have agreed to a debate—and more could be on the way.
Republican gubernatorial hopeful Rob Astorino (pictured) and Democratic challenger Zephyr Teachout will debate Sept. 4 on WNYC-FM’s Brian Lehrer Show, according to Astorino campaign spokeswoman Jessica Proud.
Additional debates are also being discussed, Proud said.
The debate will come five days before the Democratic primary on Sept. 9, when Teachout—a Fordham Law School professor—will square off with Cuomo and comedian/activist Randy Credico at the ballot box. But the chances for a debate between the Democratic candidates appears slim; Cuomo’s camp has given no indication that it will agree to one before the primary election.
Last week, Astorino issued a video saying he would debate Teachout if Cuomo wouldn’t.
Astorino, the Westchester County executive, is not facing a primary challenge and would only be on the ballot against Teachout in November if she defeats Cuomo in the primary. He has repeatedly challenged Cuomo to debate.
But it won’t be just Astorino and the Democratic candidate on the gubernatorial ballot this fall.
Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins will also appear, while five other non-major-party candidates filed petition signatures last week to create their own ballot lines. Hawkins is set to appear on the ballot because he gained more than 50,000 votes in the 2010 gubernatorial election; the independent candidates still could face legal challenges that could jeopardize their spots on the ballot.