The front-runner for the Republican nomination to challenge U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is requesting equal time from CBS after Gillibrand's recent appearance on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert."
Chele Farley submitted her request to CBS Monday. Her campaign said Gillibrand's appearance on Colbert's show last week is a "clear trigger" of the equal-time rule.
The rule requires licensed broadcasters to provide equal air time to political candidates.
"All we are asking for is CBS and all mainstream media to follow the law, respect the voters and treat the race fairly," Farley said in a statement.
Gillibrand, D-N.Y., was a guest on the Feb. 20 episode of "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert." Her appearance lasted nearly 10 minutes.
Dain Pascocello, Farley's campaign manager, said they are requesting "comparable time" in markets beyond New York, including affiliates in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Vermont.
"Since her appointment to the United States Senate, Kirsten Gillibrand has pursued a national political agenda, at the expense of New York interests," Pascocello said. "Whether incessantly fundraising, or building a network of women candidates in her 'off the sidelines' campaign — Kirsten Gillibrand's agenda is national in scope and ambition."
Political candidates have requested equal time from broadcasters in the past. In 2015, then-Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump hosted "Saturday Night Live" on NBC. Three of his GOP rivals, including former New York Gov. George Pataki, demanded equal time.
Farley is expected to secure the Republican nomination at the party's convention Friday in Saratoga. She already won the Conservative Party's nomination Monday.
Gillibrand is seeking a second six-year term as New York's junior senator. She was appointed to the post in 2009 and was re-elected in 2012.
She has been mentioned as a possible Democratic presidential candidate in 2020, but she has insisted that her focus is on the 2018 campaign.