NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A debate scheduled for Tuesday has been postponed one night to honor the anniversary of Superstorm Sandy, at the request of both mayoral candidates Bill de Blasio and Joe Lhota.
“Tuesday marks the first anniversary of Superstorm Sandy, a tragic event that took dozens of lives, and caused enormous damage to the homes, businesses and communities of tens of thousands of people in New York City, and across the region,” the candidates said in the statement. “This day should be marked with solemn reflection and remembrance.”
“This is the most respectful and appropriate way to honor the memories of those who were lost, and to stand with those who are still struggling to recover,” they continued.
Late Sunday night, the Campaign Finance Board agreed to move the debate to Wednesday.
The joint statement comes just days after a heated debate where the two candidates talked over each other and raised their voices multiple times.
In one memorable exchange in the debate, which aired on CBS 2 this past Tuesday, de Blasio said a Lhota campaign showing scenes of a dingy and crime-ridden New York in the 1970s to suggest de Blasio would be soft on crime amounted to “fearmongering” and “race baiting.”
“He can be as upset as he wants to be,” de Blasio said. “The bottom line is his ad depicted images of riots and racial imagery.”
“What racial imagery?” Lhota said.
“Go look at your own ad,” he said. “Anybody who looks at that ad knows what he’s up to and it’s what his boss, Rudy Giuliani, used to be up to, and it’s not what a mayor should be doing.” Lhota served several positions in Giuliani’s administration.
“I am getting sick and tired of you impugning the integrity of Rudy Giuliani,” Lhota shot back. “He was the man who created the renaissance in this city, and started all the programs to make all New Yorkers safe and expand our economy and jobs.”
But de Blasio said Giuliani was indeed a divisive figure, and not a model to follow.
“Rudy Giuliani did divide us consciously, and it hurt this city and held us back, and we’ve done a lot better since then,” de Blasio said.
“What color is the sky in your planet?” Lhota responded as the candidates talked over each other.
Recent polls have shown de Blasio ahead by more than 40 points, but Lhota last week expressed confidence that he can still close the gap.
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