New York’s Attorney General Letitia James is the only statewide incumbent who hasn’t agreed to a televised debate — and her GOP rival is crying foul.
Republican opponent Michael Henry is deriding James as too chicken to seal a debate deal with NY1/Spectrum News.
Email chains obtained by The Post reveal NY1 wanted James to agree by Oct. 28 to a Nov. 2 debate — four days into early voting.
But the station then gave James, who’s seeking re-election to a second term, until Monday to respond.
The invitation for the Nov. 2 debate was offered Oct. 14 — and negotiations began in September, the emails show.
“The failure to engage in debate is completely undemocratic,” Henry said Sunday. “Letitia James won’t respond to a November 2 debate invitation because she cannot defend her record on crime and corruption before New Yorkers. The last time she took the debate stage in 2018, she promoted a completely cashless bail system and it’s not working.”
A James campaign spokesperson responded that it’s “continuing to work out the details of a debate and is in communication with NY1.”
James has produced major headlines with some big results.
Her office’s investigative report concluding that three-term ex-Gov. Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed or committed misconduct against a slew of women forced him to resign under the threat of impeachment. Cuomo has denied wrongdoing.
She also has sued former President Donald Trump and his corporate empire, claiming they fraudulently inflated their real estate assets. Trump has denied wrongdoing and slammed James for engaging in a witch hunt.
But political sources noted James has championed the controversial — and unpopular — cashless bail law that could turn voters off amid surging crime; she’s recently suggested she was open to changes.
“James is vulnerable on bail reform and any debate will bring on a discussion of bail reform,” said veteran political consultant Hank Sheinkopf.
“If bail reform becomes the top issue her race with Henry could be closer.”
Henry spokeswoman Candice Giove also took note Sunday that James, along with incumbent Democrat Gov. Kathy Hochul, was stumping with Brooklyn Councilman Chi Osse, who has championed “defund the police.”
“Says everything you need to know,” Giove tweeted.
A recent Siena College poll had James leading Henry — who has little name recognition or money — 51% to 40%, an 11 point lead that shrunk from 16 points a month prior.
Henry also has gotten the lion’s share of endorsements from major law enforcement unions.
Hochul and her Republican rival Lee Zeldin sparred in a spirited debate last week. Incumbent Democratic Comptroller Tom DiNapoli also debated his GOP opponent Paul Rodriguez.
Incumbent Democrat Sen. Chuck Schumer was set to debate Republican rival Joe Pinion Sunday night.
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