The widow of murdered New York City Police Officer Joseph Piagentini, whose assassin was given early release and voting rights by Gov. Andrew Cuomo earlier this year, called out Cuomo on national television on Monday, Oct. 15 for refusing to debate his opponent, the Republican county executive of Dutchess County.
"I would like to see you debate Marc Molinaro," Diane Piagentini said to Cuomo on "Fox & Friends."
A clip of Piagentini’s challenge to the governor from New Castle is available by clicking here.
NYPD Officer Piagentini was one of three officers murdered by political terrorist Herman Bell, two in New York City and one in California. Bell reportedly tortured the NYPD officers, making them beg for their lives before killing them.
“Governor Cuomo, you couldn't take the time to meet with my family to discuss the release of Herman Bell. But I would like to see you debate Marc Molinaro,” Piagentini said.
Cuomo has refused to appear in any gubernatorial debate with Molinaro.
Cuomo's office released a statement that read: "It is despicable and desperate of this man (Molinaro) to exploit this tragedy for political gain."
Cuomo's aides also pointed out that the state Parole Board makes decisions independently of the Governor's Office.
Cuomo agreed to one debate with Democratic challenger Cynthia Nixon before the Sept. 13 primary.
“Cuomo needs to make the argument to the voters on why he’s the best person to govern New York State,” John Kaehny, director of the government watchdog group Reinvent Albany , told the New York Post in this article. "There shouldn’t be just one debate. There should be a bunch of them."
The other candidates in the race are: Howie Hawkins of the Green Party, Larry Sharpe of the Libertarian Party and Stephanie Miner, a former Syracuse mayor and co-chairwoman of the state Democratic Party who is running as an independent.
When he was vying for a second term in 2014, Cuomo agreed to one 60-minute debate that included two minor party candidates -- leaving little TV time for Republican Rob Astorino, who was Westchester County executive at the time.
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