Cuomo agrees to two debates (Updated)


Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s campaign today said it has agreed to two debates in advance of Election Day, Nov. 4.

Andrew Cuomo,Rob AstorinoThe campaign said it would participate in one held upstate in Buffalo and a second in New York City.

“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.”


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  1. I am honored to be invited to the Buffalo Debate and I accept. As far as the NYC debate I am hopeful to also be included in that debate. The voters of NYS deserve to hear all ideas from candidates that are on the ballot. Astorino’s continuing use of the word “terrified” is a projection of himself. Does he really believe the Governor is “terrified?” He is behind 30pts in the polls consistantly. He is lucky Governor Cuomo has agreed to the Buffalo debate. If anybody is terrified of anything it is Astorino. Why else won’t he debate me?

  2. Astorino will tear Cuomo apart. Cuomo has so many negatives it will be easy for Astorino to destroy him in a debate.

  3. To all the Asstorino zombies, if Larry Schwartz has done his homework Cuomo will have plenty to bury Astorino on and then sum, might even be able to start additional investigations which will also destroy any chance of being reelected to county exec.

  4. Westchester Voter on

    Amazing – An upstate debate – and then a NYC one – with no tv on the NYC one. Nice going Cuomo! Enjoy Afghanistan. And the so called “truth squad” keeps complaining about Astorino’s absence from Westchester. What about the Cuomo Israeli trip and its cost, as well as this latest visit our NY governor is making. Very important for New Yorkers – or is it? Sad to see the polls quoted over and over. And, interesting to see the hatchet job being done by Westchester Dems. Maybe it is time to do away with County Government in Westchester since our legislators have so much free time to do electioneering at Martine Avenue and elsewhere on our dime.

  5. Westchester taxpayer on

    It’s a wonder that Astorino can even show his face as a candidate for Governor of all things. He hasn’t accomplished a thing for Westchester. He could have lowered taxes in Westchester if he had returned to the taxpayers the salary & benefit savings from the more than 600 County Civil Service Employees who either retired under a NYS incentive plan, or were laid off during his administration. Instead he used the savings only to moderate tax increases, rather than reduce taxes, and then hire a whole bunch of political cronies to work on his campaign. He also got Westchester a lowered credit rating from Moody’s for his irresponsible fiscal policies. The County Civil Service Employees hate him for being so arrogant and distorting the truth.

  6. The Truthinator on

    And Taxpayer, what has that d-bag Cuomo done for the state? NOTHING! It’s all self-serving his delusion that he is presidential material. He’s nothing but a shallow bully who has ZERO principles and won’t take a stand on anything. THAT is why he’s afraid to debate. You may or may not support HVHF, but at least you know where Astorino stands. You know where Hawkins stands. You know where Teachout stands.. Our soc-called leader?? Hiding in Tora Bora Afghanistan, afraid to say one way or the other.. He’s a total waste…

  7. Now we’ll see if Astorino shows up for these debates.

    Nobody is upset about the lack of say in debates for Howie Hawkins and Michael McDermott. The truth is that when you are not a credible candidate, you don’t have much say about debates in a campaign. Unfortunately, in this race, Cuomo has no credible opponents. You have radical leftist, Howie Hawkins, radical libertarian, Michael McDermott, and Tea-Party hero, Rob Astorino. New York State deserves better.

  8. Westchester taxpayer on

    Astorino hasn’t accomplished anything as County Executive of the highest taxing municipality in the United States and he’s never going to be Governor. Chris Christie called his campaign a “lost cause.” Even after over 600 County Employees have retired or been laid off during his administration, he hasn’t reduced taxes which could have been reduced up to 20% with that number of vacancies. That’s because Astorino filled those vacancies with his own worthless political cronies to work on his futile campaign. His irresponsible fiscal policies also got Westchester a lowered credit rating from Moody’s. And what about his activities trying to subvert the Independence Party and his confidant the indicted strip club operator? We don’t need this bad news corrupt character as Governor or County Exec!

  9. Westchester Taxpayer: we all know that you know how to copy and paste your diatribe on virtually every POLHUDSON article. But please explain that if Astorino is so bad, why did the voters of Westchester re – elect him even though Democrats outnumber Republicans by a 2 : 1 margin?

  10. The reason Astorino won was because of the lack of voter turn out because several Dem. Districts were running unopposed, either by chance or well calculated by the Republicans which lead to the people in those districts thinking there was no reason for them come out to vote. That allowed Astorino to get more votes. Look at the numbers, Astorino won by almost the same number of votes as he lost by during the previous election, which showed that his base didn’t grow much. Stop dismissing what Westchester taxpayer and others alike, when they are bringing out what is costing you, me and all other taxpayers.

  11. Westchester taxpayer on

    It won’t happen again August. He’ll never win again after he’s been exposed.