NYC Votes Announces New York City's 2021 General Election Debates


The New York City Campaign Finance Board announces the 2021 general election will feature two debates among candidates for Mayor and one debate for Public Advocate candidates. The debates will be broadcast live by the Debate Program partners listed below and will be simulcast by NYC TV.

Public Advocate Debate
Tuesday, October 19,  7 - 8 pm

Broadcast by Spectrum News NY1, THE CITY (livestream)
Candidates Appearing: Devi Nampiaparampil and Jumaane Williams
Spectrum News NY1 is co-hosting with THE CITY, Citizens Union, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and Social Work Votes (Columbia School of Social Work & Latino Leadership Institute).
* This debate is not required under city law since two or more candidates have not met the nonpartisan, objective, and nondiscriminatory criteria established in the Campaign Finance Act. The candidates are appearing voluntarily and a "leading contenders" debate for this office will not be held.

Mayoral Debate
Wednesday, October 20, 7 - 8 pm

Broadcast by WNBC-TV, Telemundo 47
Candidates Appearing: Eric Adams and Curtis Sliwa
WNBC-TV is co-hosting with Telemundo 47, Politico, Citizens Budget Commission, and New York Urban League.

Mayoral "Leading Contenders" Debate
Tuesday, October 26, 7 - 8 pm

Broadcast by WABC-TV, Univision 41 Nueva York, 1010-WINS
Candidates Appearing: Eric Adams and Curtis Sliwa
WABC-TV is co-hosting with The League of Women Voters of NYC, Univision 41 Nueva York, Hispanic Federation, and NAACP NYS Conference.


The NYC Campaign Finance Board (CFB) has administered debates for every citywide election since 1997. The debates are a key component of NYC Votes, the CFB’s nonpartisan voter engagement initiative. City law calls for two debates to be held per election (primary and general election), per citywide office (mayor, comptroller, and public advocate). If only one candidate qualifies for a debate, that debate is not held. Candidates participating in the city's matching funds program must participate in each debate for which they have met objective, nonpartisan eligibility criteria.


Candidates participating in the city's public matching funds program are required to participate in each debate for which they meet nonpartisan, objective eligibility criteria. Candidates who are not participating in the campaign finance program may be invited to the debate by the sponsors, if the candidate meets the eligibility criteria.

Under New York City's Campaign Finance Act, must have raised and spent 2.5% of the spending limit for that office as reflected in the campaign finance disclosure reported prior to the debate.

NYC Debate Eligibility Criteria - 2021 Elections

Office Sought Spending Limit Debate Participation Threshold
Mayor $7,286,000 $182,150
Public Advocate, Comptroller $4,555,000 $113,875

For the second, "leading contenders" debate for each office, the debate sponsors may use additional, objective, nonpartisan, nondiscriminatory criteria. The full criteria for all debates is available here.

NYC Votes is the nonpartisan voter engagement initiative of the New York City Campaign Finance Board (CFB) and its Voter Assistance Advisory Committee (VAAC). In addition to promoting voter registration, participation, and civic engagement in New York City through its many programs and partnerships, NYC Votes sponsors the city’s official Debate Program and produces the citywide Voter Guide.