POLITICS

Cynthia Nixon Challenges Andrew Cuomo To 1-On-1 Televised Debate

The "Sex and the City" star teased that a two-candidate debate in the Democratic race for New York governor would ensure there's "nowhere to hide.”

New York gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon is challenging Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) to a one-on-one televised debate ahead of the November election, but Cuomo has rejected similar offers in the past.

The “Sex and the City” star on Monday extended an invitation to the governor in a provocative video on Twitter that poked at the governor’s past refusal to participate in two candidate debates on TV.

New York gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon has challenged Gov. Andrew Cuomo to a televised, one-on-one debate.
New York gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon has challenged Gov. Andrew Cuomo to a televised, one-on-one debate.

“I believe voters deserve to hear a frank and direct discussion of the real issues facing New Yorkers, and the difference between my progressive vision for this state, and Governor Cuomo’s centrist record,” Nixon says in the video.

She adds that a debate hosted by New York’s WABC will be “no huge multi-candidate free-for-all like you always insist on. One on one. No distractions, and nowhere to hide.”

Cuomo campaign spokeswoman Lis Smith said a gubernatorial debate is not off the table.

“We look forward to a robust debate,” Smith said in an emailed statement shared with HuffPost. “We are currently receiving invitations and reviewing the various opportunities.” 

Smith said on Twitter that any debate would take place before the Sept. 13 Democratic primary. She did not say whether Cuomo would agree to a one-on-one debate as requested by Nixon.

Cuomo, who is seeking his third term in office, declined to debate his 2014 primary opponent Zephyr Teachout. He also shunned a televised one-on-one debate with his 2014 Republican challenger Rob Astorino. A radio debate was offered by Cuomo’s team instead, but Astorino declined that proposal.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who is seeking his third term in office, has in the past declined to participate in one-on-one te
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who is seeking his third term in office, has in the past declined to participate in one-on-one televised debates.

A refusal to participate in a debate with Nixon could be seen as him having more to lose than gain from such a forum. A survey published last week from Quinnipiac University gave him a lead over Nixon of 22 percentage points.

Earlier polls showed Cuomo as much as 40 percentage points ahead of Nixon, The New York Times reported.

“She’s not a present threat at this stage,” Peter A. Brown, the assistant director of the Quinnipiac poll, told the Times. “But she’s got four months.”

This article has been updated to include a response from a Cuomo spokeswoman.

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