Governor Cuomo is throwing in the towel when it comes to trying to get one of his Democratic primary opponents kicked off the ballot.
Cuomo had been trying to make the case that Fordham University Law School professor Zephyr Teachout did not meet the state's residency requirement to run for Governor. But the State Appellate Court rejected his campaign's argument. A spokesman for the Cuomo campaign said it would not appeal the decision.
It means Cuomo will face Teachout on primary day. And now the Governor needs to decide whether he will also face her in a debate on Time Warner Cable News beforehand.
"I think these kinds of wide open debates where we ask each other questions really serve the people of the state of New York. So if he refuses to debate that isn't about disrespecting me. That is about really disrespecting voters and New Yorkers because these are hard issues. So let's talk about them," said Teachout.
Time Warner Cable news invited Governor Cuomo to debate Teachout in our studios on September 2. The station also invited Cuomo's running mate, Kathy Hochul, to debate Teachout's running mate, Tim Wu, on September 3rd. Teachout and Wu responded immediately, saying they would participate. A spokesman for the Cuomo campaign simply thanked Time Warner Cable News for the invitation.
Teachout's campaign is a longshot bid at best. She is going up against a relatively popular incumbent Governor, one who has a huge money advantage. Earlier this summer, Cuomo had $35 million in campaign contributions at his disposal.
The governor's legal fight over his opponent's residency, though, seems to have helped boost Teachout's profile.
"It's important to know that she meets the constitutional requirements. But also that she is connected to the state. That she has been living here, actually living here, not like a politician who just maintains a voting address," said Teachout's attorney Lawrence Mandelker.
As for the debate on Time Warner Cable News, the candidates were all asked to respond to the invitation to appear on our air by next Thursday.