Eric Adams is almost mayor of New York. But first he has to debate this guy.


The Democratic candidate got a chance to respond on Wednesday night as the two clashed in a 7 p.m. debate co-hosted by WNBC, POLITICO, Telemundo 47, the Citizens Budget Commission and the New York Urban League.

The candidates argued over their divergent views on public safety and the Covid-19 pandemic. Debate began with a question about Mayor Bill de Blasio’s vaccination mandate for city workers, and Adams was pressed to know if he supported benching police and firefighters who refuse to be vaccinated. .

Adams said he saw what happened on the ground at the start of the Covid pandemic, with families dropping loved ones off at hospital never to see them again. He said he supported the mandate, but reportedly approached the implementation differently, meeting with union members in the city to come to an agreement.

When it was Silwa’s turn to have the floor, he said the city is already facing a police shortage that such warrants will only exacerbate the problem.

The conversation quickly shifted to another controversial topic, public safety, in which Silwa said he was the only candidate to say he would hire more police officers as mayor. Adams dismissed the criticism.

“Well first of all, let’s be clear, New Yorkers are going to make the determination of someone who wore a bulletproof vest, protected children, families in the state and fought crime against someone who invented crimes, so he can be popular, ”Adams said.

Silwa was asked about her past comments about a return to “old school policing methods,” including the use of stop and search – a tactic deemed unconstitutional because it was being used by the NYPD to target police officers. young men of color.

Silwa responded that he would selectively use stop and search with reasonable suspicion, adding that Adams had proposed the same.

And I suggest that we use, especially in areas where there is gang activity, gang wars, constant shootings, constant activity of firearms, which should be at least used by police officers who have to stop gangs preventively, stop gun violence, because it’s going to wreak havoc on innocent citizens, ”he said.

Adams took the matter personally, saying he was “arrested and assaulted” by police before becoming a police captain himself. The moderators then asked the Democrat, who also called for more aggressive policing tactics, how he would protect young black and brown New Yorkers from being disproportionately targeted.

“I protected black and brown, low-income New Yorkers as a police officer when I fought for reform, testifying in federal court about the abuse of the stop and search,” he said, adding that his son was the victim of the stop and search in the city.

As the campaign entered its final weeks, both candidates stepped up their rhetoric. Sliwa lambasted Adams for his questions about where he lives, his contacts with elites and his comments about carrying a gun, and Adams called his nemesis a racist who turned the election into a circus.

Before the debate, Sliwa said he was towards the metro – the turf that his beret-wearing guardian angels have patrolled since the 1970s – to consult with other straphangers as a “discussion group” for debate preparation advice.

He summed up the message he hopes to deliver: “Safe subways, safe streets, safe parks, safe schools. This is the priority, without which the city cannot recover economically, we cannot get back on track.

A spokesperson for Adams, who focused his successful main campaign on tackling violent crime, spoke of similar themes. “Eric will share his vision for a safer, fairer and more prosperous New York, and his plans to deliver it to workers,” said Evan Thies.

The winner of the Nov. 2 election will replace limited-term mayor Bill de Blasio, who heads the country’s largest city as it tries to emerge from a pandemic that has hampered its economy and fueled widespread concerns in terms of public safety and quality of life. Adams, the big favorite, presented himself as the future of the Democratic Party. He would be the second black man to rule New York.

But Sliwa has also refined his attacks, describing Adams as a tool of the elite who spends his time. fundraising in the Hamptons and on vacation in Monaco. “Vote for a typical Democrat, and you’ve got a guy who’s drinking and having dinner and lining his pockets,” Sliwa said last week as launch a group of democrats support his campaign. He added in response to the POLITICO report that the Democratic candidate spent a summer trip to Monaco: “Who the hell goes to Monaco except the rich, the famous, the elite?

Sliwa also plans to sue Adams on the stage of his NYPD record debate, he said this week after local publication The City. reported that Adams waged a sexist smear campaign against a fellow cop in the 1990s. He wants Adams to demand full disclosure of his NYPD personal files, which the police department initially refused to disclose, then only disclosed part of it. “New Yorkers have a right to know,” Sliwa said.

Sliwa has maintained an active campaign schedule in recent months – although he has struggled to gain attention, even with publicity events like his. trip to New Jersey apartment Adams is co-owner with his partner, carrying a carton of milk with the candidate’s face on it. Adams has kept a low profile and was reluctant to engage his opponent.

“If he wants to participate in a circus, that’s fine. I just don’t buy the tickets, ”Adams said last week. “We have two debates. This is what the process requires. I will have two debates. Can’t wait to be there, “he said.” What I’m not going to do is participate in antics in these dire times. … I’m focused on this city, and he loves frolics He likes screaming and screaming.

Adams took aim at Sliwa in a recent interview on WNYC’s Brian Lehrer show, saying, “It’s hard for Curtis to talk about systemic racism because he’s one of the main voices of racism.” He added that it is “difficult for me to initiate a conversation with a person who admitted to making up stories about the crime,” he said, referring to Sliwa’s confession that the guardian angels had staged false crimes for publicity.

On the questions, the two candidates have disagreed in recent days on whether to impose a Covid-19 vaccine mandate on public school students. Adams supports such a mandate, while Sliwa opposes it. But they both oppose de Blasio’s plan to cut gifted and talented elementary school classes and say they would keep the program as mayor.

Adams’ focus on public safety, including a plan to bring back the controversial NYPD anti-crime unit, complicated Sliwa’s efforts to lay down law and order his signature issue. The Republican – who lives with 15 rescued cats in a small studio he shares with his wife – has also made animal rights a central part of his platform, posting plans to stop the euthanasia of animals at shelters city ​​and ban the horse-drawn carriage industry.

Adams has raised $ 2.4 million in donations since August, according to recent fundraising reports, bringing his balance to nearly $ 8 million. Sliwa has raised $ 200,000 in the same period and has $ 1.2 million on hand after receiving matching public funds this fall.

Amanda Eisenberg contributed to this report.

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