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No debate in NY governor’s race with less than 3 weeks left

Associated Press

ALBANY, N.Y.  — It looks like voters in New York won’t get the chance to see the candidates for governor debate after Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo balked at his opponents’ proposals for an exchange.

Cuomo's staff had been invited by WNED |WBFO and The Buffalo News  to participate in a debate with his Republican opponent, Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro, to be broadcast statewide on public television. But deadlines to accept that one -- and others out forth by various organizations-  passed earlier this week.

While it’s still possible a debate could be scheduled, most such events are announced far ahead of Election Day.

Molinaro's camp had previously accepted debate proposals from NY1 and the League of Women Voters, according to the New York Post.

Molinaro wanted a one-on-one debate with Cuomo, who is seeking a third term. Three third-party candidates had wanted a five-person debate.

Cuomo hasn’t explained his reluctance. He’s far ahead in the polls and in fundraising.

It’s not the first time a sitting governor has skipped the traditional debate. Cuomo’s father, the late Gov. Mario Cuomo, did not debate Republican George Pataki in 1994. Pataki went on to win the election, keeping the elder Cuomo from a fourth term.

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