NEW YORK – Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo of Westchester County and Republican Dutchess County Executive Marcus Molinaro exchanged barbs and allegations during a highly charged gubernatorial debate aired last Tuesday evening on Channel 2 TV in New York City. It was their only scheduled debate before the November 6 election.
Cuomo linked Molinaro to Republican President Donald Trump, accusing Molinaro of supporting Trump’s immigration and other policies. The governor also attempted to link Molinaro to policies of former GOP Governor George Pataki.
Molinaro accused Cuomo of being out of touch since eight people linked to his administration, including Joseph Percoco in the CPV power plant scandal, have either gone to federal prison or are to be sentenced.
“At what point after eight years of being in office do you take responsibility or at least admit that either you have benefited politically from it or you have no clue with what’s going on within the administration,” he said. Molinaro pointed to the Percoco-CPV controversy and the awarding of grants to Crystal Run Healthcare, based in the Town of Wallkill, saying Cuomo has defrauded state taxpayers.
The governor fired back saying Molinaro is under investigation by his own county legislature for awarding contracts to a company that gave his wife a job.
The two candidates also sparred over taxes, MTA spending, the criminal justice system and healthcare.