Upstate New York issues missing during only scheduled debate between Cuomo, Nixon

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Reaction has been pouring in since Wednesday night’s explosive showdown between Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Cynthia Nixon in the Democratic race for New York governor.

But it's what wasn't mentioned that has many upstate New Yorkers with a lot of questions remaining. The candidates hardly mentioned upstate New York.

Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan (D) has been an outspoken supporter of Gov. Cuomo. She says she noticed something amiss during the debate.

“The questions by the moderators were really focused on New York City, which I think was unfortunate,” Sheehan said.

Many on social media said the same.

One viewer wrote: “I think it was all about NYC and not the state.”

Another said: “How about they realize the state is bigger than just NYC and they talk about the crippling taxes?”

Mayor Sheehan feels a focus on upstate would have boosted Gov. Cuomo.

“I think one of Gov. Cuomo's strengths is the amount of focus he's put on upstate,” Sheehan said.

Green Party candidate for governor Howie Hawkins says the lack of attention on upstate New York was a mistake for both candidates.

“It didn’t deal with infrastructure falling apart, and the property taxes going up and up, which is also a problem on Long Island,” Hawkins said.

In the 2014 Democratic primary for governor, New York City had the majority of voters by just a few percentage points.

51.8 percent of the vote came from New York City. 48.2 percent of the vote came from outside of the city.

“If candidates neglect upstate they will find themselves in trouble,” Hawkins said.

As an underdog in the race, Hawkins says he hopes to benefit from what he says was missing from the Democrats Wednesday night.

“I think it could be more open than people now think,” Hawkins said.

Hawkins says he feels one debate is not enough, that there should be a series of debates across the state so that New Yorkers can hear the candidates positions' on the issues that matter in their regions.

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