5 Takeaways From the Last N.Y.C. Mayoral Debate

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Oct. 26, 2021, 9:52 p.m. ET

Oct. 26, 2021, 9:52 p.m. ET

Curtis Sliwa, right, the Republican campaigner  for mayor, faced disconnected  against his Democratic challenger, Eric Adams, successful  the last  statement   earlier  Tuesday’s election.
Credit...WABC-TV and the New York City Campaign Finance Board

The last statement successful the New York City mayor’s contention devolved into a chaotic contention Tuesday nighttime marked by name-calling, lecturing, idiosyncratic remarks and adjacent profanity arsenic the long-shot Republican candidate, Curtis Sliwa, sought to sound Eric Adams, the Democratic nominee, off-kilter astatine each turn.

Mr. Sliwa faces extraordinarily hard likelihood against Mr. Adams, and for overmuch of the campaign, Mr. Adams has formed himself arsenic a mayor-in-waiting who is already preparing to govern the nation’s largest city, ignoring Mr. Sliwa’s efforts to coax him into confrontation.

[Sliwa Attacks Adams astatine Debate successful Bid to Halt Front-Runner’s Momentum]

But connected Tuesday, the candidates did clash astatine times, and Mr. Sliwa spent overmuch of the statement hectoring and interrupting Mr. Adams, and occasionally jolting him retired of the rise-above-it-all demeanor that he deployed during their archetypal debate past week. Mr. Adams lashed Mr. Sliwa for faking crimes and adjacent implicit his grounds connected kid support.

“That is scurrilous,” Mr. Sliwa protested.

The 2 candidates staked retired starkly antithetic positions connected matters from vaccine mandates to congestion pricing to outdoor dining, portion uncovering communal crushed connected immoderate acquisition and nationalist information issues.

Still, the idiosyncratic and governmental disagreement betwixt the nominees was repeatedly thrown into crisp alleviation for viewers who tuned successful 1 week earlier Election Day.

Here are 5 takeaways from the debate:

Given New York City’s overwhelmingly Democratic tilt, immoderate Republican nominee would look a steep ascent successful a mayoral contest. But Mr. Sliwa, whom Mr. Adams has referred to arsenic a “clown,” whitethorn look an particularly hard challenge.

He has admitted, arsenic Mr. Adams noted repeatedly, to faking crimes for publicity erstwhile helium was younger. He is possibly arsenic well-known these days for owning much than a twelve cats arsenic helium is for immoderate sweeping imaginativeness for the city. And portion Mr. Sliwa has tried to marque nationalist information a signature contented that galvanizes voters, that effort is analyzable by Mr. Adams’s inheritance arsenic a erstwhile constabulary officer.

Taken together, Mr. Sliwa needed thing of a occurrence to alteration the seeming trajectory of the contention — and helium did not look to get one. He did look to drawback Mr. Adams disconnected defender astatine times, opening the statement by forcefully questioning Mr. Adams astir interactions with pack members, which sent Mr. Adams veering into onslaught mode himself.

But if Mr. Sliwa sought to nutrient immoderate damaging caller accusation astir Mr. Adams that would marque galore voters earnestly reconsider their choices, it was not instantly wide what that would be, since helium pushed galore acquainted lines of attack.

And arsenic the statement wore on, Mr. Adams returned to his posture of ignoring Mr. Sliwa, looking astatine the camera alternatively of astatine his opponent, skipping opportunities to question oregon prosecute Mr. Sliwa, and insisting that his absorption was connected the voters of New York City.

Homelessness is 1 of the astir pressing issues that the adjacent politician volition face.

There were astir 48,000 stateless people, including astir 15,000 children, sleeping successful the city’s structure strategy each nighttime successful August, according to the Coalition for the Homeless.

The wide fig for August besides included 18,357 azygous adults, adjacent to a record.

Asked however they would tackle the stateless issue, Mr. Sliwa skirted the question and alternatively attacked Mr. Adams and his narration with Mayor Bill de Blasio.

The azygous big colonisation successful stateless shelters has accrued 60 percent since Mr. de Blasio took bureau successful 2014. The politician has cited homelessness arsenic 1 of the issues helium has struggled with the astir during his 2 terms.

“We’ve been retired successful the streets tending to their needs, getting them nutrient and clothing, these mislaid souls,” Mr. Sliwa said earlier rapidly pivoting to criticizing Mr. de Blasio and his societal services commissioner, whom Mr. Adams has praised.

“I would similar you, Eric Adams, to condemn your spouse and your teammate Bill de Blasio,” Mr. Sliwa said.

Mr. Adams ignored Mr. Sliwa’s remark, calling homelessness a “real issue” earlier laying retired a much elaborate proposal.

Mr. Adams talked astir his program to crook 25,000 underused hotels rooms successful the boroughs extracurricular of Manhattan into imperishable single-room occupancy lodging for the homeless. Many hotels extracurricular the main tourer and concern districts successful Manhattan were “built to beryllium shelters,” Mr. Adams said.

“We person to get retired of the structure concern and get into the concern of getting radical imperishable housing,” helium said.

Mr. Adams besides said helium would summation lodging subsidies for families astatine hazard of losing their homes, usage a authorities instrumentality to get stateless radical who can’t instrumentality attraction of themselves disconnected the street, and spouse with the constabulary and intelligence wellness professionals to determination stateless radical retired of the subways.

“These are our neighbors. These are our erstwhile residents that lived adjacent to us,” Mr. Adams said. “There’s a level of compassion that comes with it.”

Mr. Sliwa suggested that Mr. Adams consorted with murderers. Mr. Adams noted that Mr. Sliwa had admitted to faking crimes.

And the statement had hardly begun.

On substantive issues, this statement proved akin to past week’s contest. But tonally, it proved acold nastier.

After Mr. Adams argued that helium would person engaged much energetically with national leaders connected vaccine mandates, Mr. Sliwa suggested that Mr. Adams speech to his “friend and teammate” Mr. de Blasio, who volition soon beryllium leaving office.

“You are acting similar my lad erstwhile helium was 4 years old,” Mr. Adams changeable back. “Show immoderate subject truthful we tin get to each of these issues. You’re interrupting, you’re being disrespectful.”

Mr. Sliwa countered that Mr. Adams should halt being a “robot” and amusement compassion for metropolis workers who hazard losing their salaries for failing to get vaccinated against the coronavirus.

Soon enough, the speech got adjacent much personal.

Mr. Sliwa accused Mr. Adams of really surviving successful New Jersey, an allusion to questions that person been raised astir Mr. Adams’s residency, and helium mocked Mr. Adams’s decision to blame his tax-filing errors connected his purportedly stateless accountant.

“You fake wherever you live, Eric Adams,” Mr. Sliwa said.

Mr. Adams said that Mr. Sliwa was demonstrating “clown-like actions,” and past accused him of hiding wealth truthful helium would not person to wage kid support.

“That is scurrilous that you would accidental that,” Mr. Sliwa said. “How situation you bring my household into this?”

The tenor of the statement did not spell unnoticed.

“I presume you’re not going to nonstop each different vacation cards travel December,” said Bill Ritter, who moderated the debate.

Mr. Adams and Mr. Sliwa whitethorn disagree connected galore of the specifics, but some fundamentally judge successful expanding the relation of the constabulary successful promoting nationalist safety.

Mr. Adams, who has said helium was a unfortunate of constabulary brutality and spent overmuch of his constabulary vocation advocating for changes from wrong the system, besides described his program for bringing backmost an overhauled plainclothes portion to people gangs, “target those who are utilizing guns.” His connection has discomfited immoderate New Yorkers who privation to spot the powerfulness of the constabulary scaled back.

And Mr. Sliwa indicated, successful his emblematic forceful language, that helium wants to empower the constabulary to the top grade possible.

Issues of acquisition — and the champion mode to marque nationalist schools much integrated and equitable — bash not needfully interruption down on neat ideological lines. Both Mr. Adams and Mr. Sliwa person expressed concerns implicit Mr. de Blasio’s determination to end the talented and talented program for simple schoolhouse children. They person said, instead, that they privation to grow the program, positions that they revisited connected Tuesday night.

For a little moment, the candidates did not combat with each other. They communed implicit animals. More precisely, Mr. Sliwa praised Mr. Adams’s determination to forgo eating animals, portion Mr. Adams praised Mr. Sliwa’s enactment successful rescuing them.

The infinitesimal of bonhomie did not hap without immoderate prodding.

Toward the extremity of the debate, Mr. Ritter asked the candidates to accidental thing “nice” astir their opponent.

“I instrumentality my chapeau disconnected to Curtis, what helium is doing with cats,” said Mr. Adams, possibly referring to Mr. Sliwa’s advocacy for no-kill shelters, oregon possibly to the much than a twelve cats that stock a 320-square-foot workplace apartment with Mr. Sliwa and his wife. “I deliberation we request to beryllium humane to each surviving beings.”

Mr. Sliwa was adjacent much effusive successful his praise for Mr. Adams’s determination to go a vegan.

“His promotion of a vegan mode of beingness to debar superior aesculapian issues has astir apt already helped dozens, possibly hundreds, possibly thousands of people,” Mr. Sliwa said. “As idiosyncratic who has been successful the infirmary many, galore times, I anticipation 1 time to beryllium a vegan.”

Right now, Mr. Sliwa added, helium is “at the vegetarian stage.”

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