Rob Astorino says it would not improve public discussion to have minor candidates at proposed debates

Monica Sandreczki
July 17, 2014

New York Republican candidate Rob Astorino says any gubernatorial debate should be limited to two people -- himself and Governor Cuomo.

Astorino has challenged Cuomo to a series of eight one-on-one debates. So far, Cuomo has not accepted any of them.

In 2010, Republican Carl Paladino also challenged Cuomo to one-on-one debates in the governor’s race. Cuomo agreed to one debate that included all seven candidates.

Astorino says including minor candidates in the debate would not improve public discussion.

“And you know why? Because last time, four years ago, there was a prostitute on stage; there was “the Rent is Too Damn High” and in one hour, ten people had to try to get in a couple minutes," says Astorino. "That’s not fair to the people of this state when one of two people are going to be elected -- either me, or Andrew Cuomo.”

There is a Green Party candidate for governor, Howie Hawkins. And Cuomo has a challenger, Zephyr Teachout, looking to get on the ballot in the Democratic primary.

Astorino says the content of the debate would be more in-depth if limited to the two highest-profile candidates.