New York State

For NY politics nerds: Here are the debates to watch before the election November 8

It’s time to get that NY1 app.

Rep. Lee Zeldin (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images) will debate Gov. Kathy Hochul (Darren McGee/Office of Governor Kathy Hochul) Tuesday night on Spectrum NY1.

Rep. Lee Zeldin (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images) will debate Gov. Kathy Hochul (Darren McGee/Office of Governor Kathy Hochul) Tuesday night on Spectrum NY1.

Get the popcorn popping. Election Day is Nov. 8, and debate season is upon us. 

Statewide races

Kathy Hochul (D) vs. Lee Zeldin (R)  


Tuesday, Oct. 25, 7 p.m.

Spectrum NY1

After some tedious back and forth, Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul and GOP Rep. Lee Zeldin finally set a date. The two gubernatorial candidates had been debating how and when to debate for months, and this debate will follow some recent polls showing Hochul’s lead over Zeldin narrowing. Zeldin, who challenged the governor to a series of debates, said one isn’t enough to inform voters, but agreed to do it anyway. 

Chuck Schumer (D) vs. Joe Pinion (R) 

U.S. Senate

Sunday, Oct. 30, 7 p.m.

Spectrum NY1

Remember all the speculation that AOC would challenge U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer? Now that primary debate would have been interesting! Alas, Schumer avoided that high-profile challenge from within his party, but he’s still game to debate his longshot Republican opponent before the general. Schumer is known for attending to any and all issues in New York, popping in at high school graduation ceremonies and local community board meetings, so it’s no surprise he’s agreed to debate Joe Pinion. Pinion, a 39-year-old conservative talk show personality from Yonkers, has almost no chance of unseating one of the most powerful people in the federal government.

Tom DiNapoli (D) vs. Paul Rodríguez (R) 


Oct. 19, Watch here

Spectrum NY1

Admittedly, this one wasn’t riveting, but the comptroller is important! Democrat Tom DiNapoli is one of the most uncontroversial elected officials in the state, and he’s on track to win a fourth four-year term as New York’s financial watchdog at the helm of the state pension fund. He debated Republican finance guy and political newcomer Paul Rodríguez on NY1. Rodríguez, of Queens, has said one-party rule “breeds corruption,” but Politico New York reported the debate was “relatively amicable and polite.” 

Letitia James (D) vs. Michael Henry (R) 

State attorney general


Democratic State Attorney General Letitia James, who briefly tried to run for governor, is considered very, very safe in her reelection campaign for state AG. But her Republican opponent Michael Henry still wants to debate her on TV, and apparently she’s ghosted him

For Congress

Bridget Fleming (D) vs. Nick LaLota (R) 

1st Congressional District

Oct. 20, Watch here


Rep. Lee Zeldin’s old Long Island seat in New York’s 1st Congressional District is considered pretty competitive, especially with redistricting. Bridget Fleming, a former prosecutor and Nick LaLota, a former county board of elections commissioner, are taking nothing for granted in Suffolk County.   

George Santos (R) vs. Robert Zimmerman (D) 

3rd Congressional District

Oct. 4, Watch here


Democratic Rep. Tom Suozzi’s seat in the 3rd Congressional District on the north shore of Long Island is up for grabs after Suozzi’s failed primary challenge to Gov. Kathy Hochul. Finance guy George Santos and PR exec and political commentator Robert Zimmerman are both out gay, which is a first in the U.S., and the race is considered pretty tight.

Laura Gillen (D) vs. Anthony D’Esposito (R) 

4th Congressional District

Oct. 13, Watch here


This western Long Island seat, left open by retiring Rep. Kathleen Rice, leans Democratic, but former cop and Hempstead Town Council Member Anthony D’Esposito is serious about his challenge to former Hempstead Town Supervisor Laura Gillen to flip it.

Nicole Malliotakis (R) vs. Max Rose (D)

11th Congressional District

Oct. 9, Watch here

CBS New York

Rep. Nicole Malliotakis is likely to hang onto her increasingly red Staten Island district, but former Rep. Max Rose is vying for a comeback, and that always makes for a good debate between two well-acquainted foes.

Sean Patrick Maloney (D) vs. Mike Lawler (R)

17th Congressional District

Oct. 12, Watch here

League of Women Voters

This Hudson Valley seat in the 17th Congressional District has been the subject of a ton of scrutiny because Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, a Democrat, is the chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and he switched districts to run in it, causing a cascade of effects that ultimately cost freshman Democratic Rep. Mondaire Jones his seat. Republican Assembly Member Mike Lawler is now mounting a strong attempt to flip the seat, but he’s on the defensive about abortion rights.

Pat Ryan (D) vs. Colin Schmitt (R) 

18th Congressional District

Oct. 18, Watch here

Spectrum News

Congressional District 18 is one of the most watched in the country after redistricting chaos left this battleground open. Rep. Pat Ryan won a special election this summer in an overlapping district by emphasizing abortion rights, and he’s hoping that will give him momentum to defeat Assembly Member Colin Schmitt in this matchup. 

Josh Riley (D) vs. Marc Molinaro (R) 

19th Congressional District


Another hugely competitive congressional race in New York, another swath of voters deprived of the chance to see their candidates talk face to face. WSKG reported that the two Hudson Valley district candidates hadn’t settled on a plan, but had both acknowledged the need for a debate. 

Francis Conole (D) vs. Brandon Williams (R)

22nd Congressional District

Wednesday, Oct. 26, 12 p.m. livestream

Thursday, Oct. 27, 7 p.m.

WSYR-TV Channel 9

Wednesday, Nov. 2, 7 p.m.

WSTM-TV Channel 3

The 22nd Congressional District is considered one of the most competitive in the country, so it’s appropriate that there are three scheduled debates between veteran and former Onondaga County Committee Member Francis Conole and businessman Brandon Williams.