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4 leading contenders for Republican nomination for New York governor set to debate on Monday night on CBS2

Stage is set for leading New York gubernatorial candidates to debate on CBS2
Stage is set for leading New York gubernatorial candidates to debate on CBS2 03:21

NEW YORK -- The leading Republican primary contenders will debate on CBS2 on Monday night.

Reporter Lisa Rozner has a preview.

There's a little more than two weeks to go until voters hit the polls for primary day. Monday night marks the only debate among the Republican candidates for governor, allowing New Yorkers to decide who they want to represent the party in the November election.

The four leading Republican candidates for governor will go head to head Monday at 7 p.m.

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Former Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino is running again after he was the Republican candidate for governor in 2014. He lost to then incumbent Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat.

Astorino is currently a business and media consultant.

"I'm Rob Astorino. I was twice elected in a deep blue county. As county executive, we cut taxes, slashed wasteful spending," Astorino says on one ad.

Businessman Harry Wilson previously worked in the U.S. Treasury Department under the Obama administration. Wilson is from Johnstown, which is about 45 miles north of Albany, and ran unsuccessfully for state comptroller in 2010.

"I'm running for governor because I cannot sit by while New York is devastated by career politicians," Wilson said. "Sky-high taxes are chasing families and businesses away."

Suffolk County Congressman Lee Zeldin was elected in 2014. Prior to then, the career attorney served as a state lawmaker and has a combined 20 years of active and reserve service in the Army. He was deployed to Iraq in 2006.

"We need political balance in Albany. I learned early on in life the value of hard work. I was raised in a law enforcement household," Zeldin said.

Andrew Giuliani, son of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, spent four years in the White House as public liaison to President Donald Trump. Andrew Giuliani will participate virtually in the debate in because he will not provide proof of vaccination.

"I don't think that's something that even somebody who has chosen to get the shot should have to do from a constitutional standpoint," he said.

CBS2 released the following statement:

"The CBS Broadcast Center requires that visitors seeking to enter the building must be vaccinated against COVID-19. This is a policy that was introduced last year in consultation with health care experts, government officials and the many unions representing our employees. Any candidate who doesn't meet this requirement is encouraged to participate in Monday's debate remotely. We look forward to providing the opportunity Monday night for the Republican candidates to share their views on matters of importance to the residents of New York State."

Andrew Giuliani has positioned himself as a champion of first responders, including those who lost their jobs due to vaccine mandates.

"What I will do on Day 1 is throw all of these mandates in the dustbin of history," he said.

Andrew Giuliani is standing by his promise to debate Monday and is urging his fellow candidates to do the same.

"I want to be very clear: this cannot be an excuse for any of my opponents not to show up and debate tomorrow night," he said.

The last time a Republican was governor of New York was George Pataki, who served three terms before leaving office in 2006.

Again, you can watch the four candidates face off right here on CBS2 on Monday at 7 p.m.

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