Astorino challenges Cuomo to eight debates

Jul 11, 2014

The Republican challenger for governor, Rob Astorino, has proposed multiple debates in locations around the state with incumbent Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The governor has so far not accepted any.

In a video, Astorino says the debates should be held in every region of the state between now and election day.

“I challenge Gov. Cuomo to a series of at least eight regional debates around New York state,” Astorino said.

Astorino says he agreed to five one-hour debates when he ran for his second term as Westchester County executive.

A spokesman for Cuomo’s campaign replied sarcastically that Astorino has “taken so many sides of various issues, he could hold eight debates just with himself." Campaign spokesman Peter Kauffman did not say whether Cuomo would agree to any debates, either with Astorino or other candidates, between now and November.

It’s usual for a political challenger to call for more debates than their opponent, especially when the incumbent, like Cuomo, has much better name recognition and is far ahead in the polls.