After months of sparring with each other from a distance, mayoral hopefuls Eric Adams and Curtis Sliwa are set to slug it out on the debate stage for the first time Wednesday night as Election Day looms less than two weeks away.
Adams, the Democratic nominee for mayor, is heavily favored to win the Nov. 2 election thanks to the city’s deep blue demographic, largely making Wednesday’s debate a box-checking formality for the Brooklyn borough president.
But the 7-8 p.m. debate at WNBC’s studios in Midtown still has the makings of becoming an explosive event, with Sliwa, the underdog Republican contender in the race, eager to grill Adams on various recent controversies that the BP would rather sweep under the rug.
Earlier this week, Sliwa said he intends to confront Adams in the debate about a recent report that found the Democrat spearheaded a sexist smear campaign against a fellow police officer in the early 1990s after she accused one of his comrades of cheating on a promotional exam.
Adams, who retired as a captain from the NYPD in 2006, acknowledged Tuesday that his role in the smear “was wrong” and apologized to the former officer, who said she left the police department and New York City because of the attacks on her integrity.
But Adams’ apology likely won’t stop the red beret-wearing Sliwa from slinging mud at him over the decades-old incident.
The Guardian Angels founder, who has a history of exaggerating his stories to draw media attention, has also made a big to-do in recent months over a controversy about Adams’ apartment in Brooklyn, and allegations that the BP may not be living there full-time.
Last month, The City reported that Adams filed incorrect tax documents for the townhouse that may have allowed him to reduce his taxable income by tens of thousands of dollars — and Sliwa pounced on that as well, making it part of his daily repertoire of attacks against the Democrat.
NYC mayoral hopefuls: Eric Adams (D) and Curtis Sliwa (R)
Adams, who won this summer’s Democratic mayoral primary on a centrist platform centered on fighting crime and boosting business growth, has dismissed jabs from Sliwa as distractions.
He has also made no bones about the fact that he considers Sliwa an unserious candidate.
“We’re going to have to endure the antics of a person that thinks that this is a circus for the next four weeks,” Adams said of Sliwa earlier this month. “And I’m going to tolerate it because that’s the process, but can we take Curtis Sliwa seriously on anything based on his history in this city?”
Check out our special section for the latest news on the critical 2021 elections in NYC. And to have the essential news and analysis sent to your inbox, sign up for our Campaign Diaries newsletter.Internet Explorer Channel Network