Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s campaign today said it has agreed to two debates in advance of Election Day, Nov. 4.
“Governor Cuomo is looking forward to a robust discussion of ideas at both debates and we want to thank the sponsors for making these events possible,” said Cuomo spokesman Matt Wing in a statement.
The upstate debate, to be sponsored by The Buffalo News and WNED-WBFO, would include four candidates: Cuomo, GOP candidate Rob Astorino, Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins and Libertarian Party candidate Michael McDermott.
The New York City debate, sponsored by WNYC New York Public Radio and the Wall Street Journal, would be one-on-one with Astorino, the Westchester County executive.
The dates were not announced, except that they would be held in mid-October.
There was no immediate comment from Astorino or the other candidates about whether they too have agreed to the debate schedule. Sapient Party candidate Steve Cohn is also on the ballot.
Updated: Astorino’s spokesman Jessica Proud ripped the debate schedule, saying there was no negotiations between the sides and that the one-on-one debate wouldn’t be televised under Cuomo’s proposal.
“This is more games from Andrew Cuomo. Despite their claims, there have been no negotiations between the campaigns. We have called for at least one televised debate between the two major party candidates, as is custom in every election from President of the United States on down,” Proud said.
“It’s clear Governor Cuomo is terrified to go one-on-one with County Executive Astorino on television. Is it because he doesn’t want people to see his face when he’s asked about his role in the Moreland corruption scandal? The people of New York deserve better.”