NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The gloves are off.
With just three weeks before voters go to the polls to pick Democratic and Republican candidates for mayor, the men and women seeking the top jobs are throwing punches and launching broadsides as they jockey for the hearts and minds of the electorate, CBS2’s Marcia Kramer reported Tuesday.
Andrew Yang entered his Bensonhurst headquarters like a boxing heavyweight champ entering the 12th and final round, intent on taking out his two closest competitors, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and Kathryn Garcia, by body-slamming them for their association with Bill de Blasio.
“Eric has Mayor de Blasio making calls on his behalf. Think about all the favors Eric had to trade to get to this point, climbing the ladder over this last number of years, scheming about his run. Eric, your moment has passed,” Yang said.
READ MORE: Candidate Conversations: Andrew Yang
Adams slugged back, attacking Yang’s often rah-rah approach to running the city.
“Why is he still in this race? It’s a joke and it’s not funny anymore. This is not a game. New York doesn’t need a cheerleader. They need a leader,” Adams said.
Yang also took a swipe at Garcia, who ran the Department of Sanitation under de Blasio.
“Many New Yorkers want to turn the page from the de Blasio administration, and having someone who worked in his administration seven of the last eight years isn’t the kind of change New Yorkers are looking for right now,” Yang said.
READ MORE: Candidate Conversations: Kathryn Garcia
Garcia responded by playing up the management skills once so lauded by Yang. He said he’d hire her to run things if he got elected.
“You know, I am not a politician. I’d say he is actually a politician, and most of my competitors are politicians. I’ve been doing the work for the last 14 years,” Garcia said.
While crime and gun violence have played a big role in the race, on Tuesday the focus turned to the resurgence of squeegee men, the guys who offer to clean your windshields.
READ MORE: Candidate Conversations: Eric Adams
Adams disclosed he had once been a squeegee man, himself, at age 17.
“I couldn’t afford a squeegee. I had a dirty rag with some Windex that I watered down, so I could save up enough money to give my mother the money so we could have a meal to eat,” Adams said.
Adams said he wouldn’t sick police on the squeegees. He’d help them get jobs.
Republican Curtis Sliwa said he has a novel idea for ridding the city of squeegees.
“We’re gonna sit down and negotiate a buy-back program to get the squeegees out of their hands,” Sliwa said.
A spokesman for Sliwa’s Republican opponent, Fernando Mateo, called the idea “a stunt with no substance.”