Dems in NYC Mayor’s Race Argue Over Police, Ads
NEW YORK -- The surprising new front-runner in the mayor’s race received the bulk of the attacks Wednesday in a free-wheeling and often testy debate, the clearest sign yet that the dynamic of the race has changed with less than three weeks to go until the Democratic primary.
Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, who has a slight lead in recent polls, engaged in several spirited back-and-forths with his two closest competitors vying for the two spots in a seemingly inevitable run-off.
"The public advocate is good at telling people what to do but not good at getting things done," City Council Speaker Christine Quinn said.
"Would the real Bill de Blasio please stand up?" ex-comptroller Bill Thompson asked.
Quinn and Thompson forged an unlikely alliance, as Quinn took the debate moderator’s offer to ask another candidate a question and gave her turn to Thompson. He then demanded that de Blasio take down an ad that portrays the public advocate as the only candidate who has vowed to end the era of the police department’s stop-and-frisk tactic.
De Blasio refused. He then joked that he thought "tag teams were only allowed in professional wrestling."
De Blasio became the front-runner for the first time just a week ago. Quinn, who was endorsed by The Daily News in an editorial posted on the newspaper’s website Wednesday night, led in the polls most of the year. Ex-congressman Anthony Weiner took a turn at the top before his support collapsed after his latest sexting scandal.
The police stop-and-frisk policy, and other complaints that police unfairly target minorities, repeatedly emerged as a flashpoint in the 90-minute televised debate, which featured the seven Democratic candidates frequently talking over each other. The debate also featured Weiner, Comptroller John Liu and two lesser-known candidates, ex-councilman Sal Albanese and the Rev. Erick Salgado.