Decision 2021

NBC New York, Telemundo 47 and Politico to Host 3 NYC Election Debates

The trio will host primary debates for mayor and comptroller and a general election debate for mayor

The New York City Campaign Finance Board has selected NBC 4 New York/WNBC, Telemundo 47/WNJU and Politico to host three upcoming debates in the races for New York City mayor and comptroller, starting this June. 

The debates will air on WNBC and WNJU platforms:

  • Wednesday, June 16:  7 p.m. to 8 p.m.
    Democratic primary candidates for Mayor (“Leading Contenders”)
  • Sunday, June 20:  9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
    Democratic primary candidates for Comptroller (“Leading Contenders”)
  • Wednesday, October 20:  7 p.m. to 8 p.m.
    General election candidates for Mayor

Panel moderators will include WNBC 4 p.m. and 11 p.m. news anchor David Ushery, WNBC political reporter Melissa Russo, WNJU morning news anchor and host of “Enfoque Nueva York” Allan Villafana, and Sally Goldenberg, City Hall Bureau Chief for Politico New York. 

All debates will originate from WNBC’s 30 Rockefeller Center studios with strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols, including temperature checks, rapid testing and social distancing.  No audiences will be present, with a limited number of guest credentials available for campaign staff and guests.

Each broadcast will include a sign-language interpreter and closed captioning access for the hearing impaired.  The broadcasts will also be translated into Spanish for WNJU audiences. 

“There is no shortage of important issues awaiting the leaders of America’s largest city – all at a very critical time. Our WNBC news team is ready to lead this important dialogue. Our journalists understand the issues important to New Yorkers because they are New Yorkers, too. We look forward to hosting this series of informative and spirited debates, helping all New Yorkers make their preferred choices at the ballot box,” said Amy Morris, NBC 4 New York vice president of news.

“Our city’s Spanish-speaking communities have been particularly hard-hit by COVID-19. Families have extensive questions for New York’s next leaders on any number of important topics – and we are ready to bring them the answers they deserve. We look forward to working with our partners on these important public dialogues,” said Freddy Oldenburg, Telemundo 47 vice president of news.

"Poltico is excited to partner with our colleagues at WNBC, Telemundo 47, the New York Urban League and the Citizens Budget Commission to host these crucial debates for mayor and comptroller. This is the most important city election in recent memory and we're eager to give voters a comprehensive look at the people and the policies that will shape New York's post-pandemic future," said David Giambusso, New York City editor, Politico.

“How the City manages the current crises will determine how well it survives and ultimately thrives. The Citizens Budget Commission is pleased to have the opportunity to use its nonpartisan, fact-based research to inform New Yorkers’ choice of leaders. Hard choices lie ahead, and CBC’s deep expertise on finance, efficiency, housing affordability, NYCHA and Health + Hospitals can help shine a light on the candidates’ approaches, proposals, and specific planned actions,” said Andrew Rein, president, Citizens Budget Commission.

"As New York City faces one of its toughest challenges - recovery from COVID and a racial awakening - we are so pleased to partner with NBC, Telemundo, Politico and the Citizens Budget Commission to host these crucial debates for NYC Mayor and Comptroller.   As we vote in a new way, it is more important than ever to give voters an opportunity to learn as much as they can about our candidates and their perspectives on how to help New York rebound and thrive," said Arva Rice, president and CEO of the New York Urban League.

"Debates allow voters to compare candidates and learn how they would lead the city. As city voters prepare to cast Ranked Choice ballots for the first time in June, these debates will play a critical role in helping voters make the best choices for their families, their future, and their communities," said Amy Loprest, executive director of the Campaign Finance Board.

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