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Republican Challenging State Comptroller Calls For Debates

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Republican Challenging State Comptroller Calls For Debates
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ALBANY, N.Y. -- Republican comptroller candidate Bob Antonacci became the latest challenger to call for debates with his opponent in November, Democrat Tom DiNapoli.

"I'm not going to go crazy here because it's the comptroller's race. I think they deserve at least two debates – preferably one in the upstate region and one in the downstate region," Antonacci said.

While the debate for the state comptroller's race may not be the most exciting this election season, Antonacci is legally required to participate in one since he is accepting public matching funds. It's part of a program approved this year that only applies to the comptroller's race.

"I think we should debate whether there's a requirement in that program or not," Antonacci said.

Having a debate would be a boost to Antonacci's candidacy and name recognition. Antonacci said he would use the forum to draw a sharp contrast with DiNapoli's handling of the state pension system and auditing authority.

"I think it's important for Mr. DiNapoli and I to debate our visions for New York state and I'm proud to be part of the first-ever pilot program; a program Mr. DiNapoli decided not to participate in despite calling for it numerous times," said Antonacci.

The DiNapoli campaign did not respond to the debate challenge, and yet, Antonacci is not the only challenger to call for debates. Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Zephyr Teachout is trying to get Governor Andrew Cuomo to agree to debates as well.

"What I'd like to do is sort of Lincoln-Douglas style where we get up there and really mix it up where we ask each other questions," Teachout said.

Time Warner Cable News has invited both Cuomo and Teachout, along with their running mates Kathy Hochul and Tim Wu, to debate in September.

So far, Cuomo and Hochul are yet to commit.

"It's under consideration. There's a very short timeframe left now," Hochul said.

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