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Nixon agrees to televised debate; Cuomo is noncommital

Gov. Andrew Cuomo in Westbury on April 27,

Gov. Andrew Cuomo in Westbury on April 27, and Democratic gubernatorial rival Cynthia Nixon in Brooklyn on March 28. Credit: Composite: Howard Schnapp, left, and Corey Sipkin

ALBANY — Cynthia Nixon, who is challenging Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo in this year’s Democratic primary for governor, on Monday quickly accepted an invitation to a one-on-one, prime-time television debate with Cuomo.

WABC-TV in New York issued the invitation to host the debate, and while Nixon said “yes” right away, a Cuomo campaign spokeswoman was noncommittal.

“We are currently receiving invitations and reviewing the various opportunities,” spokeswoman Lis Smith said.

Nixon, the actress and former star of “Sex and the City,” is a political newcomer who is trying to catch up to Cuomo in the polls, so she arguably has much more to gain from the exposure of a debate.

After accepting WABC’s offer, Nixon posted a video on Twitter exhorting Cuomo, the two-term incumbent, to take her on. The two are vying for the Democratic nomination.

“So, what’s it going to be @NYGovCuomo? Just you and me, on a stage,” Nixon said on Twitter. “One on one. No distractions and nowhere to hide. Your move.”

Cuomo didn’t debate his 2014 Democrat primary challenger, Zephyr Teachout. Also that year, he declined to debate Republican candidate Rob Astorino one-on-one, participating only in a forum that included multiple minor-party candidates.

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