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Five questions with Bob McCarthy following the gubernatorial debate

News political reporter and columnist Bob McCarthy, who served as a panelist, joined Mary Pasciak and News readers for a Q&A immediately following the gubernatorial debate. Here were some highlights:

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Comment From Simon:

Seriously? Nothing about the SAFE Act?

Bob McCarthy:

SAFE Act was covered in the question about the governor’s [Andrew Cuomo] reaction to “ultra conservatives.” He was asked -- though he may not have fully answered -- if opposition to gun control disqualifies some New Yorkers from being “welcomed” here.

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Mary Pasciak:

Who would you say spent the most time on the attack tonight?

Bob McCarthy:

No question the county executive [Rob Astorino] came out on the attack -- he had to when 21 points down in the polls. But the governor punched hard, too, especially challenging the housing situation in Westchester County. Good give and take.

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Mary Pasciak:

How would you characterize the style and effectiveness of the two minor party candidates?

Bob McCarthy:

They both performed well. They realized this was their only chance to gain any attention at all, and made their points well. Face it -- not many voters knew that much about Greens or Libertarians before tonight. They accomplished what they set out to do.

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Mary Pasciak:

How did the candidates delineate their positions on economic development?

Bob McCarthy:

They didn’t get too in depth, but they certainly delineated different positions on how they will approach economic development. Astorino through lower taxes and a less stringent regulatory environment. Cuomo likes the Buffalo Billion approach, and made sure he pointed out how “great” things are here.

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Bob McCarthy:

The big question of the night -- is there a clear winner? I didn’t see it tonight, but we’ll wait for the reviews to come in. ...

This was an important event. It will set the agenda for the last days of this campaign. Now -- the voters will be engaged and this is part of that.