Republican Party leaders are calling on Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Democrat, to participate in at least one joint debate with Marc Molinaro in the upstate region, ensure it’s open to a public audience, and streamed live on major television stations and online.

Party leaders said the debate in New York City last week was an attempt by the governor to pacify the media outlets and voters without actually engaging in a meaningful debate. Noticeably absent at the debate was substantive discussion on issues impacting the upstate region.

“We deserve to hear from Cuomo and Molinaro in a meaningful debate about their solutions to solve the many issues facing upstate New Yorkers. Failure to do so sends a loud and clear message to millions of upstate taxpayers that we don’t matter,” said Ontario County Republican and Finger Lakes Regional Chairwoman Trisha Turner.

“The first debate entirely skipped the issues important to upstate voters, the hardships our region faces and the solutions the candidates would offer,” said Steuben County Republican Chairman Joseph Sempolinski.

“Often times it appears Governor Cuomo forgets we exist in upstate New York,” said Monroe County Republican and 1st Vice State Chairman Bill Reilich. “We deserve answers about what has happened over the last eight years and we deserve to hear the vision of the two candidates on where they think our state will be going over the next four years.”

“Governor Cuomo, please prove us wrong and show us that we matter,” added Lester Cady, Schuyler County Republican Chairman. “If you care enough to bother coming to upstate, I’m sure any of our world class universities would love to host you and your opponent for a real debate to talk about the many issues we face today in upstate.”

“We are calling on our Upstate Democrat Leaders to join us in our call for the opportunity to hear from the gubernatorial candidates on their vision for upstate,” said Yates County Republican Chairman Jack Prendergast.

The following Republican Party leaders have signed onto this call for a live, accessible upstate debate:

Bill Reilich, Monroe County Republican and 1st Vice State Chairman

Trisha Turner, Ontario County Republican and Finger Lakes Regional Chairwoman

Bob Oaks, Wayne County Republican Chairman

Dwight “Mike” Healy, Allegany Republican Chairman

Joe Sempolinski, Steuben County Republican Chairman

Tom Fox, Seneca County Republican Chairman

Lester Cady, Schuyler County Chairman

John Pauer, Livingston County Republican Chairman

Jack Prendergast, Yates County Republican Chairman