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Cuomo won't say whether he'll debate Teachout, Astorino

Ryan Delaney
Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino visits the New York State Fair in Syracuse Thursday.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is non-committal about whether he’ll debate his Democratic and Republican opponents in the fall elections.

Cuomo, who spoke after an early morning stop at the New York State Fair in Syracuse, would not say whether he’ll debate Republican candidate for governor Rob Astorino, or Democratic primary opponent Zephyr Teachout.

Credit Governor Andrew Cuomo / via Flickr
Governor Cuomo cuts the ribbon, opening the State Fair Thursday

“I’ll leave that to the campaigns to talk through,” Cuomo said.

The governor was asked what he meant by the statement.

“I’ll leave it to the campaigns to work out if there should be debates, who would participate, that’s a campaign tactic that I will leave to the campaigns,” Cuomo answered.

The governor tried unsuccessfully to have Teachout removed from the ballot, saying she was not really a resident of New York, but two courts threw out the challenge.

Cuomo is far ahead in the polls against his little known competitors.

In the absence of any plans for debates with Cuomo, Teachout and Astorino are now talking about debating each other.

Democratic candidate for Governor, Zephyr Teachout, left, speaks with Campbell Conversations host Grant Reeher Thursday.

During an interview with Grant Reeher, host of WRVO's Campbell Conversations, Teachout responded to Cuomo's comments and chided him about his statement.

"He had the audacity to say, 'the campaign staff will figure that out,'" Teachout said. "So, here is Andrew Cuomo, who seems to think you're supposed to meddle in anti-corruption commissions, but not meddle in your own campaign staff. He seems to have it entirely upside down."

Astorino also made an appearance at the State Fair Thursday.

When asked whether he would be willing to debate the other candidates, he said that only he and the Democratic candidate should debate and that Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins and other candidates shouldn't be allowed to participate. 

"There's only one winner," said Astorino. "At the end of the day, 97 percent of the vote is probably going to be between two people and one of those two is going to get the majority and win. That's going to be either me, Cuomo, or Zephyr Teachout."

So far, no debates have been scheduled. 

WRVO's Ryan Delaney contributed to this report.