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Schumer and Townsend agree to debate

ALBANY — Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer and Republican challenger Jay Townsend have agreed to a televised debate nine days before Election Day.

NY1 political director Robert Hardt says they’ll debate on the evening of Oct. 24 at Marist College in Poughkeepsie. The debate will be shown live statewide on NY1 and YNN stations.

Townsend, a political consultant who is far behind in the polls, had been calling on Schumer to debate him for weeks, claiming Schumer was unwilling to publicly defend his record.

Townsend says Thursday he’s happy to have a chance to debate Schumer, but “the bad news is, it took him a month.”

Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Republican challenger Joe DioGuardi plan their first debate Friday. The candidates for governor plan their first debate Monday.