Gillibrand sheds chicken suit, agrees to ABC-TV debate

Democratic incumbent Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand has clawed out of her chicken suit and agreed to debate her Republican opponent Chele Farley Thursday, campaign officials said Sunday amid a Post front page that shamed her for backing out of her sole debate.

Gillibrand landed in a chicken suit on The Post’s front page for canceling a debate scheduled for Sunday that was sponsored by Spectrum NY1.

Gillibrand cited a labor dispute and union picketing against Spectrum’s parent company Charter Communications for pulling out of that debate.

The Gillibrand-Farley debate will air on WABC-TV and be held on Thursday, at 1:30 p.m.

“I appreciate ABC 7 Eyewitness News putting together this last-minute televised debate after Senator Gillibrand’s 11th-hour stunt to get out of the debate she arranged,” said Farley.

“It is important for voters to hear from both candidates side-by-side so that they can make an informed decision about who has the commitment to Put New York First and the ability to negotiate a better deal for New York families.”

Farley also took a swipe at Gillibrand, saying New York’s junior senator caved to political pressure over her decision to pull out of the Spectrum debate.

“After facing harsh political backlash for pulling out of the Spectrum News debate, Senator Gillibrand has correctly reversed course and agreed to join me in a face-to-face discussion of the issues,” said Farley. “This is the sixth debate proposal that I have accepted. Senator Gillibrand accepted only one, then backed out before being forced into taking a break from the 2020 Presidential campaign trail to return to New York as she runs for re-election.”

Gillibrand campaign spokesman Glen Caplin said in a statement, “Senator Gillibrand believes deeply that an open public debate is essential to democracy. We are pleased that WABC-TV, the nation’s most watched local TV station, agreed yesterday afternoon to host a U.S. Senate statewide debate this coming Thursday for their weekly flagship political show Up Close with Bill Ritter.”

“We are also pleased the debate will be provided to all of ABC’s local statewide affiliates in addition to being live-streamed for anyone to see on WABC-TV’s market-leading social media platforms.”

Caplin, referring to the Spectrum debate blow-off, said, “With this debate, we will be able to both stand in solidarity with the 1,800 members of IBEW who went on strike for fair pay and benefits and provide New Yorkers with the opportunity they deserve to hear from both candidates. We look forward to the debate.”

Gillibrand leads Farley by 23 points in the most recent Quinnipiac University poll.

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