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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.

Candidates for citywide office who join the public matching funds program and meet certain nonpartisan requirements must participate in debates prior to the election. Candidates may be required to meet additional nonpartisan criteria in order to qualify for the second pre-election debate, reserved for “leading contenders”. Candidates who do not join the matching funds program may also be invited to join the debate, provided they meet the same nonpartisan criteria.

2017 Debate Program Application

2017 Debate Law Summary

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.

2017 Debate Program Applicants
Group 1
  • WCBS-TV Channel 2
  • NewsRadio 88
  • WLNY- TV 10/55
  • 1010WINS
  • New York Daily News
  • The New York Immigration Coalition
  • Common Cause/New York
  • City University of New York (CUNY)
  • CBSNew York


The following are listed in the order their applications were received.

We invite the public to make comments on the qualifications of the specific sponsors. Please send any comments to:

Katrina Shakarian
Debate Coordinator
NYC Campaign Finance Board
100 Church Street, New York, NY 10007 

A decision about the sponsor selection will be made in April.