WXXI-TV Airs 26th Congressional District Debate

WXXI broadcast the Voice of the Voter debate Thursday at 8:00 p.m. in advance of the special election in New York's 26th Congressional District.

Democrat Kathy Hochul and Republican Jane Corwin answered questions from a panel of journalists from the Voice of the Voter partners. Jack Davis, running on the Tea Party line, did not respond to an invitation to take part in the debate.

The debate was recorded Wednesday, May 18 at the WXXI Public Broadcasting Studios in Rochester and is being carried by C-SPAN.

The Democrat and Chronicle's Jill Terreri writes about the candidates' differing views on several issues. You can also learn facts about the candidates in these brief candidate profiles.

The debate is part of WXXI's Voice of the Voter partnership with the Democrat & Chronicle, 13 WHAM-TV and WDKX 103.9 FM. Committed to bringing citizens' concerns to the forefront in political issues, Voice of the Voter is supported in part by The Community Foundation.

Below are the WXXI/Voice of the Voter debate inclusion guidelines:

1. The candidates must meet the requirements of the NYS Constitution and the Constitution of the United States. When ballot access has not been certified by the NYS Board of Elections, whether because the date for certification has not arrived or because a legal challenge of one or more candidates delayed certification, WXXI shall exercise its judgment about which candidates to invite and may invite any candidate whom it believes has a reasonable possibility of obtaining ballot access.

AND

2. The candidates must meet all requirements to be on the ballot according to NYS Election laws. When ballot access has not been certified by the NYS Board of Elections, whether because the date for certification has not arrived or because a legal challenge of one or more candidates delayed certification, WXXI shall exercise its judgment about which candidates to invite and may invite any candidate whom it believes has a reasonable possibility of obtaining ballot access.

AND

3. The candidate must show that all financial reports required by the NYS Board of Elections have been filed and verified.

AND

4. A candidate that seeks to be (in the case of a primary election) or is the candidate of a party which received ten percent of the gross ballot tally in New York State in the preceding election for President of the United States OR ten percent of the gross ballot tally for Governor of the State of New York if the party is not affiliated outside of the State of New York. Invitations will be extended to legally qualified candidates for public office duly nominated and endorsed by political parties meeting this requirement, as limited by additional criteria outlined in this document.

OR

5. Individual political candidates, regardless of partisan affiliation, receiving a minimum of five percent preference in one or more pre-election polls published or broadcast by daily newspaper or broadcast journalism enterprises in the state, employing established opinion survey procedures, with a calculated margin of error less than ten percent. Public opinion surveys commissioned by political parties, individual candidates or private subscribers will not be acceptable in meeting these criteria for participation.

OR

6. In the absence of published public opinion data in any race for public office, WXXI will systematically review each of the legally qualified candidates in the race. Utilizing the soundest journalistic criteria available, WXXI will assess (a) demonstrations of voter interest; (b) demonstrations of news media interest; (c) the completion of financial reporting documents listing at least three campaign contributions per 1,000 residents of the constituency of $50 or more, excluding contributions from the candidate, the candidate's spouse, or the candidate's natural or adopted children; and (d) demonstrable campaign activity to determine candidate inclusion.

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Comments

debate guidelines

Though couched in sophisticated language, WXXI's debate guidelines offend the democratic process. Every candidate who has a theoretical chance of winning (i.e. whose name will appear on the final ballot) should be included in the media debates. It's time WXXI start acting in accord with the public trust it thus far has had only a theoretical chance of winning.

debate

Watching the debate, why do you give the Democrat all the easy, leading positive questions. Asking about Hochul and her mom??? Just a joke.

Good questions for the debate

Claret Cleare and Jill Terreri asked some great, insightful questions. Nice work!

You're doing a huge

You're doing a huge disservice to the voting public by excluding candidates from the debate. As a public TV station, you should be ashamed for contributing to the narrow sphere of "acceptable" candidates in this country. Do the right thing and invite Ian Murphy.

re: You're doing a huge

Thanks for your comment. We've published our candidate inclusion guidelines above to provide a better understanding of our debate planning and production process.
Steve Dawe
Director our Multimedia Engagement

Voter input on debate topics

Thank you, WXXI, for hosting this debate.

Since the debate title is Voice of the Voter, will the public be present to ask questions? If not, can the debate host please ask each panelist the method(s) they used to identify questions that are representative of voter interests?

One topic I hope will be asked is candidates' views on improved public transit options between Rochester and surrounding towns both within and outside Rochester. i.e. options to improve commuting for work and leisure activities in Rochester especially in winter. Improved commuting public transit could save money and lives (money could be saved by reducing wear and tear on public roads, emergency personnel responding to accidents, costs of owning a car for individuals with lower incomes, costs of car maintenance and gas for all transit users).

This question could apply to Buffalo and its surrounding areas as well.

Thank you.

re: Voter input on debate topics

Thanks for the comment. Your suggested question/topic will be shared with the journalists on our panel.

This particular debate will feature questions from those journalists only. We made the decision to rely on their questions, as they are he ones closely following this campaign and reporting on it. In the past we have included questions directly from citizens and will likely do so in some future debates/candidate forums.

Steve Dawe
WXXI Director of Multimedia Engagement

Voice of the Voter Debate

Thanks for your quick response and for passing my comment on to the journalists. One correction to my previous message: I meant to say "candidates' views on improved public transit options between Rochester and surrounding towns both within and outside Monroe County...."

I'm looking forward to the debate.