BUFFALO, NY - We are about two and a half weeks from state and local primaries. This should be a time for candidates to debate issues and for voters to get to know who's running.
And so far, in the governor's race, there have been no debates.
"This is what a campaign should be all about a good honest discussion on the issues and thank you for doing this," said then-candidate for governor Andrew Cuomo in 2002, during a debate against former state comptroller Carl McCall. Cuomo would eventually pull out of the race.
Now, as governor, up for re-election, there are no debates scheduled between Cuomo and his democratic challenger - Fordam Law professor Zephyr Teachout. And no debates scheduled with his Republican challenger Westchester county executive Rob Astorino.
If Cuomo wins in the September primary, he would square off against Astorino in the November general election. Both Teachout and Astorino want to debate the governor.
According to a recent Quinnipiac University poll, Cuomo is beating Astorino 56 to 28 percent. As for Teachout, a Quinnipiac poll says 88 percent of voters don't know who she is.
According to an article by the Journal News, Cuomo was asked earlier this week if he'll debate this election year. The paper says Cuomo responded saying:
"I'll leave it to the campaigns to work out if there should be debates, who would participate. That's a campaign tactic that I'll leave to the campaigns."
On Friday, we questioned Cuomo's running mate, Kathy Hochul about whether there should be any debates in the governor's race. We found her on the campaign trail, in West Seneca at a senior center.
REPORTER: Do you think that he's open to debates?
HOCHUL: "You'd have to ask him."
REPORTER: I'm asking you, you've talked to the governor again, you guys anticipate to be on the ticket together do you think he's open to debating?
HOCHUL: "I know this is the most important issue to the media, but I'm also acutely aware of what people on the streets are saying and I'm not hearing a lot of people that want debates, they want to know what we're like in person."
2 On Your Side never heard back from the governor's campaign office on whether the governor will agree to a debate this election year.