NY governor hopefuls debate economy, leadership

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his Republican challenger traded insults and clashed over the economy and corruption during the only scheduled debate of the governor's race.

During Wednesday's hour-long exchange Cuomo, a Democrat, cited his work to cut taxes and make government more efficient. He said Rob Astorino's views on abortion, immigration and housing desegregation make him too conservative to lead New York.

Astorino, the Westchester County executive, criticized Cuomo over allegations that his administration meddled with an anti-corruption commission. He also said the governor hasn't helped energize the economy.

Two third-party candidates also participated. Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins voiced opposition to hydraulic fracturing while Libertarian Michael McDermott said voters deserve alternatives to the major parties.

The televised debate was sponsored by The Buffalo News, WNED-TV and WBFO-FM.