Lhota challenges de Blasio to weekly debates

Republican candidate for mayor Joe Lhota challenged his opponent, Democratic candidate Bill de Blasio, to weekly debates citywide. Credit: Anna Sanders
Republican candidate for mayor Joe Lhota challenged his opponent, Democratic candidate Bill de Blasio, to weekly debates citywide.
Credit: Anna Sanders

In an effort to bring his understated message to more New Yorkers, Republican Joe Lhota challenged Democrat Bill de Blasio to weekly debates around the city before the mayoral election.

There are two official televised debates on Oct. 22 and 29, both held in Manhattan and sponsored by the Campaign Finance Board.

“Not only are there citywide issues that need to be talked about in each one of the boroughs, there’s specific issues that need to be covered in Staten Island and in Queens and in the Bronx and in Brooklyn,” Lhota said on the steps of City Hall on Thursday.

He said the debate would help voters see the difference between him and de Blasio on issues like education, public safety and the economy.

“I think it’s important we go out to the people and they see the contrast between the two of us, the contrast in our approaches, the contrast in our philosophy,” he said.

De Blasio said at an unrelated event in the Bronx that there would be a “good number” of debates.

“We are going to figure out the best way to go about debates and, most importantly, the televised debate program where most people have the opportunity to see the contrast between the candidates — and you will see plenty of contrast,” de Blasio said.

An increased number of debates may perhaps best help Lhota, who is still somewhat unknown.

Of likely voters surveyed, 32 percent said they haven’t heard enough about Lhota to form an opinion of him, according to in a Quinnipiac University poll released the same day he called for additional debates.

Follow Anna Sanders on Twitter: @AnnaESanders


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