As a person who has historically kept an office coat at her desk and donned it most days of the year, I empathize with a recent request from very relatable New York gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon. Heading into her Wednesday debate with incumbent Governor Andrew Cuomo, Nixon has reportedly asked—nay, insisted—that the thermostat be set to a temperate 76 degrees. A quibbling demand from a spoiled celebrity, or prudent strategy in a battle with a man whose track record heavily suggests he might try to literally freeze out the competition? Having long shivered in office climates engineered to meet to men's metabolic needs, I am inclined toward the latter.

According to the New York Times, Nixon campaign strategist Rebecca Katz emailed debate host WCBS-TV last week, pointing out that professional environments are "notoriously sexist when it comes to room temperature." She just wanted to ensure, she wrote, that "we're all on the same page" with respect to venue climate control. 76 degrees, Katz told the Times, was "just an opening offer" to keep Cuomo from turning the Hofstra University debate hall into an arctic tundra. As the Times has previously reported, "meat locker"-type temps seem to follow Cuomo wherever he goes. Although the governor denies imposing any specific climate preference at his appearances, audiences have been obliged to put on parkas and bundle themselves in blankets to weather his speeches.

Cuomo's camp said they weren't looking to commandeer control of the thermostat, telling the Times that "the Nixon campaign thrives on paranoia and melodrama, and these silly accusations are more of the same. They can debate about debates, but the governor is focused on having a substantive, in-depth discussion about the issues facing New York." For more substantive discussion, we turn to Secretary to the Governor Melissa DeRosa:

Yet for months, Cuomo dodged Nixon's repeated invitations to debate publicly. She believes CBS has catered to the governor's agenda as a condition of his participation. "CBS was very frank with us that they really didn't have a choice—that these were his demands and if they were not acceded to, he wouldn't show up," she has said, according to the Times. (The Nixon campaign tells Gothamist that the network has not agreed to 76 degrees, and CBS has not yet returned request for comment.) Given that most workplaces are temperature regulated for 154-pound, 40-year-old men with higher metabolic rates than an average woman, though, Nixon's suspicions don't seem entirely unreasonable.

Whatever the temperature, the candidates will face off for one hour, starting at 7 p.m. on Aug. 29. I will be wearing my office coat in solidarity.