NY1 formally invites Cuomo to debate Teachout

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ALBANY—Time Warner Cable News has invited Governor Andrew Cuomo and his Democratic primary challenger, Zephyr Teachout, to a televised debate early next month, laying down a gauntlet for Cuomo to directly engage his political rival.

The network publicly announced it would produce a live, hour-long debate the evening of September 2 between Cuomo and Teachout, a Fordham law professor, as well as a separate forum the next day between the candidates' running mates, Kathy Hochul and Tim Wu.

A Cuomo campaign aide told the Associated Press this week the governor has no plans to debate Teachout, whose ballot position was affirmed Wednesday when an appellate court rejected Cuomo's claim she was ineligible to run due to residency restrictions.

A Cuomo spokesman did not immediately return a request for comment, but Teachout has confirmed, according to Bob Hardt, the political director for NY1.

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"NY1 and Time Warner Cable News are committed to a full discussion of the issues in the Democratic primary race and we're looking forward to hearing what the candidates have to say," Hardt said. "Debate season is officially underway."

Republican candidate Rob Astorino—who has challenged Cuomo to a series of debates—said he would debate Teachout in the governor's stead.