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Gubernatorial Hopeful Rob Astorino Offers To Debate Opponent Zephyr Teachout

ALBANY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) -- Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino says that if New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo refuses to debate his Democratic Primary opponent, liberal law professor Zephyr Teachout, then he'll do it himself.

Astorino, the Westchester County executive, took the unusual step of wading into the other party's primary Wednesday, saying New York voters deserve to have a debate on the challenges facing the state.

Teachout told WCBS 880's Alex Silverman the campaigns are working to set up a debate.

Astorino and Teachout disagree on most policy issues, but the two contenders have found common ground in their criticism of Cuomo. Polls show Cuomo significantly ahead in his bid for a second term.

A Cuomo campaign spokesman said Tuesday that Cuomo has no plans to debate Teachout. Supporters of the governor had been attempting to knock her off the primary ballot with a legal challenge.

Teachout survived another attempt by supporters of Gov. Andrew Cuomo to knock her off next month's Democratic Primary ballot after a judicial panel ruled Wednesday that she is eligible to run.

In the ruling, which could be appealed to the state's highest court, the judges concluded that Teachout meets the state constitution's five-year residency requirement. Two Cuomo supporters had alleged that Teachout wasn't a full-time resident.

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