Five takeaways from the first New York City Democratic mayoral debate
May 14, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.
Compression ratio: 24.8%. 2 min read.
The New York City Democratic mayoral primary has been playing out in the shadows -- of the Covid-19 pandemic, of President Joe Biden's first months in office, and former President Donald Trump's corrosive election lie.
Businessman and former 2020 Democratic presidential primary candidate Andrew Yang, Brooklyn borough president and former police officer Eric Adams, civil rights lawyer and former de Blasio counsel Maya Wiley, former nonprofit executive Dianne Morales, former New York Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia -- fresh off her endorsement by the New York Times Editorial Board -- New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan and ex-Citigroup executive Ray McGuire all took part -- Hollywood Squares-style -- in the two-hour debate.
It was a clever turn -- Morales said she did (but cautioned that Yang's plans didn't go far enough) -- that might have earned Yang a touch of goodwill with progressives, who hold Morales in high regard and have been turned off by his attacks on the "Defund the Police" movement.
Yang also managed a potentially tricky exchange with Adams, who took exception to the former presidential primary candidate's talk about working in Georgia earlier this year to help two Democrats win their Senate runoff elections.
Adams accused Yang of taking too much credit for those historic victories -- credit, he said, that should go to Stacey Abrams and the Black women who worked for a decade to mobilize Georgia voters.
After a shooting in Times Square this past weekend, the city's gun violence spike went from a top issue in this race to the top issue -- one that Adams, a former police officer, has made a centerpiece of his campaign.
Wiley and Morales, two thirds of the progressive bloc in this primary along with Stringer, made strong first impressions -- and yes, this was the likely the first time many New York voters really dug into the campaign.
Wiley, a civil rights lawyer, who worked as counsel to de Blasio before taking a turn as a popular MSNBC commentator, landed her best shot on Adams, citing approving comments he made in the past about "stop and frisk. "
Wiley stood her ground, noting to Adams that she once chaired the Civilian Complaint Review Board, the city's top police oversight body.