Incumbent Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand was set to debate Republican Chele Farley Sunday. Gillibrand is pulling out and releasing the following statement:
“I believe deeply that an open public debate is essential to democracy. That is why months ago I agreed to a statewide debate with Spectrum News/NY1 before the upcoming election. However, I am also deeply committed to the working men and women of the labor community and support the 1,800 members of IBEW who went on strike for fair pay and benefits and I will not cross a de facto picket line scheduled for Sunday. That is why I will withdraw from participating in the Spectrum News/NY1 debate this Sunday unless the workers’ strike of Charter has been resolved. It is my hope that Charter’s management will come to the table and agree to a fair resolution with the hardworking members of IBEW before then. I remain willing and eager to debate on Sunday and hope this can be resolved in time to allow the debate to continue as scheduled. If not, my campaign stands ready to debate Sunday night with a different media partner or will explore another date and venue to conduct a debate before the election.”
The Farley for Senate campaign released a statement saying, "The most insulting part of the whole series of events is at no point did anyone from Gillibrand’s office reach out to the Farley campaign to notify us of the issue and discuss a viable solution."