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Cuomo Agrees To Two Gubernatorial Debates Pending Astorino Acceptance

Challenger Rob Astorino will get his chance to debate incumbent governor Andrew Cuomo.
Challenger Rob Astorino will get his chance to debate incumbent governor Andrew Cuomo. Photo Credit: File

This story has been updated.

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- Gov. Andrew Cuomo has agreed to two debates prior to the Nov. 4 gubernatorial election, including a one-on-one debate with Republican challenger Rob Astorino, the Westchester County executive, according to multiple reports Saturday.

Precise dates for the mid-October debates were not announced. The debates are scheduled to be held in New York City (between Cuomo and Astorino) and in Buffalo, with Libertarian Party candidate Michael McDermott and Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins  joining Cuomo and Astorino, according to the reports.

The debates would be contingent on Astorino's acceptance, and Jessica Proud, a spokesman for the Astorino campaign, said late Saturday Astorino representatives have not had any debate negotiations with Cuomo representatives.

"This is more games from Andrew Cuomo," Proud said in a statement. "Despite their claims, there have been no negotiations between the campaigns."

Cuomo spokesman Matt Wing was quoted by the New York Daily News as saying, “Gov. Cuomo is looking forward to a robust discussion of ideas at both debates."

Proud said Astorino has "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.

"It's clear Gov. 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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