Gov. Kathy Hochul agreed Wednesday to participate in Spectrum News's general election debate with Rep. Lee Zeldin, the Republican nominee for governor. But Zeldin did not immediately accept, criticizing Hochul's decision to wait until late October for a debate and for only agreeing to one debate so far.

"This is absolutely unacceptable just how much contempt Kathy Hochul has towards New Yorkers that she is trying to pathetically get away with just one General Election debate over a month after absentee ballots start going out. We should have a live, televised debate right now," Zeldin said in a statement. "Voters should have the opportunity to hear where the candidates stand before they vote, not after."

Zeldin pointed out absentee ballots will begin to be mailed out Friday, Sept. 23.

He also called for Hochul to accept debates on CBS2 and PIX11 and suggested those networks move forward with debates even if Hochul declines to appear, leaving him on stage with an empty podium.

The Spectrum News debate is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 25 at 7 p.m. at Pace University in Manhattan.

"Inside City Hall" host Errol Louis and "Capital Tonight" host Susan Arbetter will co-moderate. 

"Governor Hochul looks forward to highlighting the clear contrast between her strong record of delivering results and Lee Zeldin's extreme agenda," Hochul campaign spokesperson Jerrel Harvey said in a release announcing her decision. "While Zeldin continues to push his far-right plans to ban abortion and roll back commonsense gun safety laws, Governor Hochul remains committed to building a stronger, safer, and more affordable New York."

Election Day is Nov. 8.