Hours before the debate began demonstrators for each candidate and certain issues gathered out front with signs, many protesting the SAFE Act. However, the controversial law was not a topic of discussion during the evening’s hour-long debate. On other topics, Governor Andrew Cuomo said he would serve a full term if re-elected, that Thruway tolls would go up but by an affordable amount. Each candidate made comments about legalizing hydrofracking in New York State.
“The Governor gives out tax credits with a wink and a nod, and those businesses then turn around and fill his campaign war chest; that’s how it works,” said Astorino at one point during the debate.
“Thirty five states have natural gas, 34 are safely drilling and their economies are booming,” said Republican candidate Rob Astorino. “Let’s look at what’s going on in Pennsylvania , Ohio, North Dakota. We can do that here in New York,” he said.
“I’m not a scientist,” said Cuomo. “Let the scientists decide. It’s very complicated, very controversial, academic studies come out all different ways. Let the experts decide.”
“Mr. Cuomo says he’s waiting for the science but when some science came back from the U.S. Geological Survey, his administration wanted to change the results,” said Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins. “They suggested edits and delays. So what is it?”
“We have to be sure It’s safe,” said Libertarian candidate Michael McDermott. “I’m not willing to take a risk to our ground water and our environment because it might be safe. We have to know if it’s going be safe”.
When asked if the state should contribute to help build a new domed stadium for the Bills, Governor Cuomo said ” I don’t want to think about more money for Buffalo, we alread spent the billion,” referring to the Buffalo Billion.
Wednesday’s debate was the only scheduled debate in the governor’s race.
The latest Siena College poll shows Cuomo has a more than 20 point lead over Astorino.
Election day is November 4.