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Editorial: Dems should have debate

Saturday, August 16, 2014
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Three weeks from Tuesday, state Democrats will have a primary to determine who carries the party line for governor in November.

There is actually a legitimate challenger on the ballot with impressive credentials and strong positions on issues that affect the state's 5.6 million registered Democrats. Zephyr Teachout, a 42-year-old Fordham law professor — who on Thursday picked up the endorsement of PEF, the state's second largest public union — is challenging Gov. Andrew Cuomo for his seat. She and the governor disagree on such critical matters as ethics, hydrofracking and education funding.

Before they go to the polls on Sept. 9, Democrats deserve to see the two candidates go face to face in a debate.

Of course it's probably not going to happen. Incumbents like Cuomo rarely expose themselves to direct confrontations from challengers. Why give them the exposure and invite the criticism?

But it would be helpful for Democrats to have Cuomo and Teachout battle it out before the primary. That way, voters can observe for themselves what they're getting. The party leadership should set it up and Cuomo should agree to participate.

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