Candidates in NYC, NJ demanding in-person debates

New York Elections

NEW YORK — As we advance in the pandemic and head toward primary elections in New York City and New Jersey, candidates are asking that they be allowed to debate in-person.

This is especially true in the New York City mayoral race, where several Democrats have called for an in-person debate after the first one was held virtually.

Candidates Shaun Donovan, Kathryn Garcia, Ray McGuire, Scott Stringer, Maya Wiley and Andrew Yang wrote a letter to the Campaign Finance Board Thursday demanding the second mayoral debate be held in-person.

“New Yorkers face one of the most consequential elections in history and they deserve and need to see the candidates debate in person,” the letter reads. “There is too much at stake to do otherwise.

During 2020’s presidential campaign, both presidential debates and the vice presidential debate were held in person, though after former President Trump caught COVID-19, a second debate was canceled due to an inability to agree on rules.

New York City’s mayoral primaries will be held June 8.

In New Jersey’s GOP gubernatorial primary, one of the two debates — which will both be held next week — is already in-person. But candidate Hirsh Singh took to Twitter Saturday to demand both events be held in person.

Singh felt insulted by fellow candidate and former Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli, as well as host PBS, demanding that there be a virtual debate with proof of vaccination and COVID tests.

“Unlike [Ciattarelli], I’m AGAINST vaccine passports and Phil Murphy’s anti-science COVID policies,” Singh wrote.

PIX11 News reached out to a spokesperson for Ciatterelli for comment.

The New Jersey gubernatorial primary is June 8.

Eight of New York City’s mayoral candidates will be participating in PIX11’s May 27 forum.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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