Public Advocate Debate Scheduled for October 10 Will Not be Held; One Candidate Met Legal Criteria, Law Requires Two or More


The debate scheduled for Thursday, October 10, in the general election for Public Advocate will not be held. Only one candidate met the legally-mandated threshold to participate. Under city law, two or more candidates must qualify for a debate to be held. Candidates participating in the matching funds program must participate in the Debate Program debates, provided they have met nonpartisan, objective, and non-discriminatory criteria. For this debate, the law requires candidates to have raised and spent $113,875 (2.5% of the expenditure limit) in compliance with city law as of Monday, September 30.

A second "leading contenders" general election debate is scheduled for Tuesday, October 29. To qualify for that debate, candidates must have raised and spent $136,650 (3% of the expenditure limit) as reflected in the campaign finance disclosure statement filed on Friday, October 25. In addition to the financial threshold, candidates must satisfy one of the following criteria:

  • 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 over 250 members residing in New York City;
  • have at least 750 small dollar contributors (defined as having contributed $250 or less in the aggregate to the candidate within the current election cycle), each of whom is a resident in the city of New York, as reflected in the last filing statement prior to the Debate, which must be filed by Friday, October 25, 2019.

If held, the October 29 debate will be broadcast by Spectrum News NY1 and livestreamed on and the network's Facebook page. The debate will be simulcast on NYC Life, the flagship station owned by the City of New York. 

New Yorkers citywide will vote in the general election with early voting starting on Saturday, October 26.  Early voting continues until Sunday, November 3. Election Day is on Tuesday, November 5. Go to Voting.NYC to read the Voter Guide and to find your early voting and Election Day poll sites.

NYC Votes is the nonpartisan voter engagement initiative of the New York City Campaign Finance Board (CFB) and its Voter Assistance Advisory Committee (VAAC). In addition to promoting voter registration, participation, and civic engagement in New York City through its many programs and partnerships, NYC Votes sponsors the city’s official Debate Program and produces the citywide Voter Guide.