The seven candidates looking to become Governor of the State of New York met for a debate Monday on the campus of Hofstra University on Long Island, NY.
Those seeking your vote who participated were:
Charles Barron ( Freedom Party);
Andrew Cuomo ( Democratic/Independence/and Working Families Parties);
Kristin Davis ( Anti-Prohibition Party);
Howie Hawkins (Green Party);
Jimmy McMillan (Rent is 2 Damn High Party);
Carl Paladino (Republican/Conservative/Taxpayers Parties);
Warren Redlich (Libertarian Party).
The televised event began at 7pm, and was produced by News 12, Newsday, and Hofstra University. The event lasted 90 minutes.
Channel 7 Political Analyst Bob Davis joined anchors Joanna Pasceri and Keith Radford in the Eyewitness Newsroom to watch the feed, which was broadcast locally on the Time Warner Cable system.
Initial reaction from Davis noted that it was a "non event," and that the format was flawed in not allowing candidates an opportunity to interact or get into more issues. He added that there were no winners, and that no new ground was covered.
Some of the issues that were discussed in some way by each candidate included cutting taxes, stopping wasteful spending, and fixing a broken government.
In response to one question, Democratic candidate Cuomo talked about a priority in bringing upstate power downstate...which Davis thought was a shot at WNY which is home to power plants in Niagara Falls and has been the center of the hotly contested NYPA funds.
Republican candidate, WNY attorney and developer Carl Paladino described how he is not a career politician, that he is not angry - he is passionate - talking about cutting taxes by 10% and spending by 20%.
Moderators asked that their question on support for gay marriage be answered with a simple "yes" or "no" response. After some confusion in answering, Paladino said "no" to supporting it, with Cuomo saying "yes." The other candidates were in support of gay marriage, with candidate Charles Barron refusing to answer. Paladino's refusal to support gay marriage, and comments about homosexuality, were the subject of controversy in the last week.
Eyewitness News visited a Democratic viewing party in West Seneca where one viewer commented that the candidates were not getting enough time with the format.
At a Republican viewing party at the Giacomo Hotel in Niagara Falls, which is owned by candidate Carl Paladino, most in attendance felt that their candidate was doing well in laying out his plan.
Some of the lesser known candidates added colorful and humorous comments during the debate. Kristin Davis commented that the escort service she ran was more reliable than the MTA ( Metropolitan Transportation Authority). Jimmy McMillan also offered fast talk to support his position and party line that the Rent is 2 Damn high.
Eyewitness News will continue to have reaction to the debate, and complete election coverage. Channel 7's John Borsa was there, and will report from Hofstra.