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Cuomo agrees to two debates

Ryan Delaney
WRVO (file photo)

Incumbent Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he’s agreed to two debates with his opponents, both on public broadcasting. But his GOP challenger is angered because the formats do not include a televised contest between the Democratic and Republican candidates.

Cuomo says he’s accepted an invitation to debate on television in Buffalo, along with GOP candidate Rob Astorino, Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins and the Libertarian Party’s Michael McDermott.

The governor has also agreed to a radio debate in New York City. It will be a one-on-one between Cuomo and Astorino.  

The news angered the Republican candidate, who says there were no negotiations between the campaigns on which debates to accept, and says the schedule means Cuomo and Astorino will not appear alone together in a debate on television.

Astorino’ s spokeswoman accused Cuomo of being “terrified” of a one-on-one TV debate, saying she thinks he does not want to be on camera discussing an ethics scandal in the administration that is now being probed by the U.S. Attorney.  

A spokesman for Cuomo’s campaign says the governor is “looking forward to a robust discussion of ideas at both debates.”