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Candidate Debates

The Debate Program is a cornerstone of the CFB’s voter education efforts. It provides New Yorkers with an opportunity to compare candidates side-by-side as they discuss the important issues facing the city.

Both debates for the Public Advocate special election will be sponsored and broadcast by Spectrum News NY1. The following co-sponsors will join with NY1 in producing the debates: POLITICO New York, Citizens Union, Borough of Manhattan Community College, Latino Leadership Institute, The League of Women Voters of the City of New York, NAACP New York State Conference Metropolitan Council, and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., East Kings County Alumnae Chapter.

First Debate: February 6 starting at 7 p.m. from the CUNY-TV studio

View in English or Spanish.

  • To be eligible to participate in this debate, candidates must:
    • have raised and spent $56,938 (1.25% of the expenditure limit for Public Advocate) as reflected in the campaign finance disclosure statement which must be filed with the CFB by midnight Friday, January 25; 
    • be on the ballot as of the date of the debate and meet all other minimum criteria under the Campaign Finance Act.

Second "leading contenders" Debate: February 20 starting at 7 p.m. from the Borough of Manhattan Community College

  • To be eligible to participate in this debate, candidates must: 
    • have raised and spent $170,813 (3.75% of the expenditure limit for Public Advocate) as reflected in the campaign finance disclosure statement which must be filed with the CFB by midnight on Friday, February 15;
      AND
    • have received an endorsement from a City, State, or federal elected official who represents all or a portion of New York City; OR
    • have received an endorsement from one or more membership organizations with a membership of over 250 members residing in New York City;
    • be on the ballot as of the date of the debate and meet all other minimum criteria under the Campaign Finance Act.

Both debates will be televised by Spectrum News NY1 and simulcast by NYC-TV. The debates will be streamed live for free on the NY1 website and on the NY1 Facebook page. 

The Board will conduct the Debate program for the 2019 citywide elections for Public Advocate under the NYC Votes voter engagement campaign. The CFB seeks a diverse group of sponsors who will produce debates that will reach the broadest possible audience, beginning with the special election in February. The CFB will select a debate sponsor or sponsors for all three rounds of debates expected for 2019: the special election in February, the primary elections in September, and the general election in November.

Individual debates may be sponsored by organizations that are not affiliated with any political party, candidate, or office holder, and have not endorsed any candidate in a pending citywide election. Past sponsors have included civic groups, academic institutions, and media organizations.

DOWNLOAD: 2019 Public Advocate Debate Program Application

Debate sponsor applications received for 2019 Public Advocate election

  • NY1, Borough of Manhattan Community College, BRIC, Citizens Union, League of Women Voters, Latino Leadership Institute, Politico New York
  • CBS-TV
  • WNYC New York Public Radio, Cooper Union, CUNY-TV, Common Cause/NY
  • NAACP New York State Conference Metropolitan Council
  • East Kings County Alumnae Chapter, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

The CFB announced the debate sponsors, schedule, and participation criteria on January 17, 2019.

2017 Debate Information

Past Debate Videos