Cuomo, Molinaro agree to 1-on-1 debate in governor’s race
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Republican challenger Marc Molinaro will debate Tuesday in their only scheduled exchange before next month’s election.
Cuomo, a Democrat seeking a third term, balked at debating Molinaro for weeks before both sides agreed to the debate. The one-on-one event will be taped Tuesday afternoon and broadcast at 7 p.m. on WCBS-TV in New York City. Viewers outside New York City should check their local CBS affiliate for viewing times, though many upstate stations have announced 7 p.m. broadcasts.
Polls suggest Cuomo is far ahead in the race.
Molinaro, the Dutchess County executive, said one debate is insufficient and that he wants at least two more, held in Buffalo and the state’s Southern Tier with Pennsylvania.
“As usual, the forgotten upstate New Yorker is getting screwed by Andrew Cuomo,” Molinaro said.
Cuomo’s campaign spokeswoman Dani Lever said it was Molinaro, not Cuomo, who had been the delay — though Molinaro’s campaign began calling for a debate with Cuomo months ago.
“After days of ducking the debate, we’re glad Marc Molinaro has finally agreed,” Lever said in an email. “See you tomorrow.”
Cuomo had resisted calls to debate until last week, when he suddenly agreed to a New York City radio debate with Molinaro scheduled for the next day. Molinaro protested, saying the debate should be broadcast statewide. Cuomo agreed to Tuesday’s debate invitation Sunday night and Molinaro followed suit Monday morning.
The debate won’t feature the three third-party candidates: Libertarian Larry Sharpe, Green Party nominee Howie Hawkins or former Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner, an independent.
“A single debate without all the candidates hurts democracy,” Miner said in a statement responding to Monday’s debate announcement. “New Yorkers deserve better.”