The first and only Democratic primary debate between Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his opponent Cynthia Nixon covered a lot of topics of interest for New York City residents. Geographically, the furthest upstate the debate got was the Tappan Zee Bridge.
“The Tappan Zee Bridge as I mentioned -- we have the most aggressive construction program in the United States. We're doing more construction than at any time since Robert Moses believe it or not,” said Cuomo.
Other candidates for governor, like the Green Party's Howie Hawkins, took notice.
“Most of the debate was about New York City. Those of us upstate were wondering if we're watching an election about where we live,” said gubernatorial candidate Howie Hawkins.
Former Syracuse mayor Stephanie Miner, running an independent bid for governor, said the debate failed to touch on key upstate issues like a declining population, infrastructure and taxes.
“There weren't any discussions about the massive population loss, the growth in child poverty, about the decrepit bridges and roads upstate, the tax policy, the lack of opportunity,” said Miner.
Hawkins says he would have liked to have seen more discussion on how property taxes should be reduced.
“They've been going up and up. The state is balancing the budget on the backs of local property taxpayers. Taxes upstate are the highest in the nation,” said Hawkins.
And Hawkins hopes that once attention turns to the general election, he and his fellow candidates from outside the two-party system will be invited to participate.
“What I hope and I hope the media will push this is that we have more than one debate. We should have a series around the state and let the voters really get a chance to hear what we all have to offer," said Hawkins.
Gov. Cuomo is seeking a third term this year. He and Nixon face off in a primary scheduled for September 13.