5 takeaways from the final NYC Democratic mayoral debate
June 17, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.
Compression ratio: 23.3%. 2 min read.
The end of the New York City's Democratic mayoral primary is near.
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, who has led the race in the limited available polling, sought to stay above the fray, which meant that with the exception of one heated exchange with former presidential candidate Andrew Yang, he seemed to disappear from it for stretches.
Yang came out on the front foot, but he was under attack repeatedly from New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer, who hammered the New York political newcomer as unfit for the job.
But even as she has emerged as the liberal favorite in the closing days and weeks of the race, Wiley's message remained the same -- offering more measured plans than the city's leftist activists would like to see, but sticking by her promise to shift some of the New York Police Department's budget away from the agency and toward social services.
His tussle with Yang, who has sought to present himself as the better option to combat a spike in violent crime, was the debate's sharpest exchange, but hinged on a quibble over an endorsement from a police union, the Captains Endowment Association.
A retired former police captain in the NYPD, the union once represented Adams, but announced this week that it was backing Yang.
Asked why he should be trusted on public safety issues over Adams, Yang pointed to their support.
"The people you should ask about this are Eric's former colleagues in the police captains union," Yang said.
Yang has improved as a candidate during the course of the campaign, but his lack of experience in city politics, a narrative bolstered by the occasional gaffe, has made him an easy debate stage target -- one at which Stringer, on Wednesday, took repeated aim.
Wiley's deliberate message, though, also came under some new scrutiny when she was asked by the moderators what she would do -- in the short-term -- to address the rise in violent crime, a question she mostly side-stepped before returning to her core message on public safety and police.
Even Adams and Yang, as they vie to win over New Yorkers who want a more assertive police presence, sketched out plans for preventive measures -- the kinds of policies that address the root causes of violent crime.
Yang's mention of his endorsement by the police captains union was more of a cudgel against Adams than anything else.