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Capitol Bureau

Capitol Bureau correspondent Karen DeWitt reports on what is happening in Albany, and how the decisions made by lawmakers affect you. Karen reports for WXXI and New York State Public Radio, a network of 10 public radio stations in New York State. She has covered state government and politics for the network since 1990.

She is also a regular contributor to New York Now, the statewide public television program about New York State government seen on WXXI-TV Sundays at 6:30 p.m.  

Matt Ryan, New York Now

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his Democratic primary challenger, Cynthia Nixon, squared off in the only debate before the Sept. 13 election in a testy and contentious hour long discussion broadcast by CBS2 in New York City from Hofstra University on Long Island on Wednesday night. 

The choice, according to Nixon and Cuomo, is between who is more qualified to run New York state, versus the desire for change. 

Single-payer health care for New York has become an issue in the race for governor. Democratic primary challenger Cynthia Nixon say if she’s elected, she’d enact single-payer for New York. Not all of her opponents think that’s a good idea.

Nixon wants New York to adopt a health care system that would bypass insurance companies and expand existing government-funded health care for seniors to all New Yorkers. She spoke to supporters recently in Albany.

“We can have a New York with a single-payer Medicare-for-all system,” Nixon said as the crowd applauded.

The end of August used to be considered a slow season in politics, but television ads released by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his Republican challenger, Marc Molinaro, are getting heated.

Molinaro said Cuomo insulted his pregnant wife, while the governor’s campaign tried to bar the GOP candidate’s spot on state corruption from airing on television stations.

The Democratic candidates for governor — incumbent Andrew Cuomo and challenger Cynthia Nixon — have different views on spending money on the state’s schools.

There are three weeks until primary day in New York, and the Democratic underdog for governor, Cynthia Nixon, is laying out her plans for the final stretch of campaigning, saying there is a potential path to victory.

Nixon is trailing incumbent Gov. Andrew Cuomo by 30 points in the polls. But she said there is a path to victory, and recent contests — including the June upset win of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez over incumbent Congressman Joe Crowley in a Democratic primary — have shown the polls aren’t always accurate.

Governor Cuomo's office

Gov. Andrew Cuomo continued to rail against President Donald Trump on Wednesday. But some of his political opponents say the governor needs to talk more about issues related to New York state.

At an appearance at the State Fair, Cuomo commented on the felony conviction of Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, in federal court in Virginia and the guilty plea from Trump’s personal lawyer and fixer, Michael Cohen, where Cohen implicated the president in a crime.

A Bennington College survey of residents in the PFOA-contaminated village of Hoosick Falls in eastern New York finds higher rates of illnesses among residents exposed to the toxic substance than did a previous study conducted by the New York State Health Department.

Karen DeWitt

New York Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney is running in the four-way Democratic primary for state attorney general after former Attorney General Eric Schneiderman resigned in May over accusations that he physically assaulted women he dated.

It’s a short campaign season before the Sept. 13 primary. Now that Congress is in recess, the 52-year-old Maloney, who represents portions of the Hudson Valley, has stepped up his campaign schedule, with daily events across the state.

Governor Cuomo's office

Gov. Andrew Cuomo stirred some controversy Wednesday when he told an audience at a bill-signing ceremony in Manhattan that America “was never that great.” 

“We’re not going to make America great again, it was never that great,” Cuomo said as some in the audience gasped in surprise.

It gained him sharp criticism from the Republican candidate for governor, Marc Molinaro, who said it was “shocking” and that Cuomo “owes the nation an apology.”

The governor also received critiques on social media.

File photo

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is making the rounds of national news programs now that he has become the target of a lawsuit by the National Rifle Association.

Cuomo, a gun control advocate, is asking other states to join him in fighting what he said is an “extremist” organization. The NRA said it’s Cuomo who has a political “vendetta” against the group that could lead to its demise.

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