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McCarthy previews gubernatorial debate

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Buffalo News Political Reporter Bob McCarthy will be one of the panelists who will be asking questions of the candidates during tonight's gubernatorial debate at the WNED/WBFO studios. He shared some thoughts on what to expect during a conversation this morning on WBFO.

McCarthy will be joined on the panel by  WBFO Albany Correspondent Karen Dewitt and Juan Gonzalez of the New York Daily News. WBFO News Director Brian Meyer will be the moderator.

The debate will carried by broadcast outlets across New York State. Four candidates will appear: Republican Rob Astorino, Democratic incumbent Andrew Cuomo, Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins and Libertarian Party candidate Michael McDermott.

"You wouldn't believe the negotiations that go on beforehand," said McCarthy, who has served on several debate panels through the years. Campaigns often battle over debate formats, the order of questions, even the location of the candidates.

He says he and his fellow reporters work together to avoid repeating questions and to ensure they address the pressing issues of the day.

While debates often appear to be calm, almost-scripted affairs, the moments following the event feature a "frantic pace of activity as the 'spinmeisters' take over," McCarthy said.  Campaign strategists will attempt to frame events so that their candidates are portrayed in a positive, victorious light.