NY gubernatorial candidates Hochul, Zeldin agree to debate – but not on number yet

Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul and Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin have found something they agree on – New Yorkers should hear them debate ahead of the Nov. 8 gubernatorial election.

“New Yorkers deserve the opportunity to see firsthand where the two gubernatorial candidates stand on the issues most important to voters,” Zeldin said in a statement Wednesday.

The GOP standard-bearer has called for five debates — two in the state, a third in Syracuse, a fourth in either Rochester or Buffalo, and a fifth elsewhere in the state — but it remains unclear how many hochul will agree.

“As with every election in her career, Gov. Hochul looks forward to debating with Congressman Zeldin this fall,” Hochul spokesman Jerrel Harvey said in a statement Wednesday. “New Yorkers need to know about Lee Zeldin’s allegiance to the MAGA agenda and his far-right record on guns and abortion rights.”

Gov. Kathy Hochul has agreed to hold debates ahead of the November 8 gubernatorial election.
Gov. Kathy Hochul has agreed to hold debates ahead of the November 8 gubernatorial election.
Photo by Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/Shutterstock
Zeldin has called for five debates with Hochul.
Zeldin has called for five debates with Hochul.
J. Messerschmidt/NY Post

Harvey did not immediately respond to a follow-up inquiry about the number of debates Hochul would attend. CBS News and PIX 11 have already planned to host a debate each.

In 2018, then-Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Republican nominee Marc Molinaro, the Dutchess County board of directors, had a televised debate. Both Zeldin and Hochul faced off against major opponents in multiple debates earlier this year.

Further debate offers Post-backed Zeldin a chance to gain ground in a race in which Democrat Hochul has many built-in advantages – including a two-for-one advantage in party registration.

A recent Siena College poll showed Hochul is 14 percentage points ahead of Zeldin, and recent campaign filings showed she has $11.7 million to spend, compared to just $1.57 million for Zeldin combined will perform with former President Donald Trump at a fundraiser in September.

But Zeldin says he remains optimistic about his chances this November, when enough voters can hear his message about why he should become the first Republican to win a statewide election in two decades.

“As I’m traveling across the state,” he said in a statement Wednesday. “New Yorkers tell me that their main problems are rising crime, the high cost of living, the quality of education, the corruption scandals that plague Hochul, and massive government abuse.”

https://nypost.com/2022/08/17/ny-governor-candidates-hochul-zeldin-agree-to-debate-but-not-yet-on-number/ NY gubernatorial candidates Hochul, Zeldin agree to debate – but not on number yet

JACLYN DIAZ

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