Gov. Hochul’s main Democratic challengers demanded on Friday that she agree to a series of debates ahead of the June primary.
Rep. Tom Suozzi (DN.Y.) and New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams joined forces on a letter to insist that the incumbent Hochul commits to a half dozen clashes between May and the primary election on June 28.
“Democracy is about a competition of ideas,” the letter said. “We challenge @GovKathyHochul to join us for a minimum of 6 debates … so that voters can hear directly from the candidates.”
Hochul, leading recent polls by a healthy margin, has not confirmed any invitations, including a televised debate scheduled for June 16 on NBC 4 New York/WNBC, Telemundo 47/WNJU and the Times Union – just two days before early voting begins.
The two rivals said it’s essential for Empire State voters to get the chance to hear who wants to represent them in Albany.
They want the debate to start in May.
“Our state is at a crossroads with an important election coming up in just nine weeks,” they wrote. “These are unprecedented times for New Yorkers, and voters need the chance to hear from all candidates in a transparent manner.”
Hochul was elected as lieutenant governor and took over the Governor’s mansion in August when ex-Gov. Andrew Cuomo resigned amid allegations of serial sexual harassment.
Suozzi is challenging her as a moderate. Williams, who ran a surprisingly strong losing campaign for lieutenant governor against Hochul four years ago, is an unabashed progressive.
But they are united behind the push to get Hochul to face off against them.
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The leading Republican candidates are Rep. Lee Zeldin (RN.Y.) and Andrew Giuliani, the ex-mayor’s son.