Bill De Blasio squares off with former councilman in final mayoral primary debate

NEW YORK (WABC) -- A second and final NYC Mayoral Democratic primary debate was held on Wednesday night.

Former New York City Councilman Sal Albanese isn't well-known and he's trying to stop Mayor Bill de Blasio from coasting into a second term.

So Wednesday night, he was on the attack.

The mayor as he arrived for the debate knew he would be on the hot seat again.

His democratic challenger blasted him on schools, the MTA and on the city's growing homeless problem. 60,000 New Yorkers are now in city shelters.

"I don't know what city Bill's living in here, but I ride the subway and I'm out on the street and homelessness is at an epidemic level, they've obviously mismanaged the problem," Albanese said.

But on policing, Albanese may have gone too far. Crime is at dramatic low levels, with new neighborhood policing and 2,000 extra NYPD officers.

"Well, I think there is a major demoralization in the police force," Albanese said. "90-percent of the police officers disapprove of the mayor."

"A lot of things you just heard are not true, and here's what's true: our officers are doing an outstanding job, the men and women just achieved a historic record - the safest August in the history of this city," Mayor de Blasio said.

They also clashed on the statue of Christopher Columbus and the mayor's new committee reviewing all statues in the city.

"Your ally, Melissa Mark-Viverito, wants to take the statue down and you didn't have the guts to say no to her," Albanese said.

"I think it's a good process to help us move forward, and we've seen similar things around the world that actually help address the issues of the past so we can look to the future," de Blasio said.
The mayor refuses to say whether the statue should stay or go.

"I don't need a commission to tell me the Christopher Columbus statue should not come down," Albanese said.

Both candidates dislike our new president, but they disagree on joining protests at Trump Tower.

"You went out and protested in front of his building," Albanese said. "You're the mayor of the City of New York."

"Wait, wait, for clarification you're saying the mayor of the city standing and protesting in front of his building is a bad idea?" Mayor de Blasio said. "I think it was an important thing to do."

"You're not a cheerleader. You're the mayor of the City of New York," Albanese said.

They also agreed on whether the Red Sox should be punished for spying on the Yankees, even though the mayor, from Boston, is a Red Sox fan.

"If these allegations are proven true they should absolutely be punished," Mayor de Blasio said.

"Mr. Albanese?" the moderator said.

"Well, I hate the Red Sox," Albanese said.

The primary vote will be held on September 12th.
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