How To Watch & What To Watch For At Wednesday’s Mayoral Debate


Eight Democratic candidates vying to turn out to be the following mayor of New York Metropolis will face off reside and in individual on Wednesday evening for the second of three official main debates.

The primary a lot anticipated in-person debate comes with roughly three weeks to go till the June twenty second main, in an election that can decide the town’s path to restoration in addition to the way it tackles different profound points similar to public security, police reform, and racial and financial justice.

With sparse and questionable polling and a big portion of voters saying they’re nonetheless undecided, specialists say that the race remains to be fluid. However latest polls have steered that three moderates are main the sector: Eric Adams, the Brooklyn borough president; Andrew Yang, the previous presidential candidate and tech entrepreneur; and Kathryn Garcia, the town’s former sanitation commissioner.


Wednesday’s two-hour debate, organized by the town’s Marketing campaign Finance Board, can be hosted by WABC-TV. There are a number of methods to tune in:

  • The primary hour can be broadcast reside on WABC Channel 7
  • You may stream the whole occasion on and
  • The CFB notes that you would be able to additionally watch on the next channels: Optimum – 110, FiOs – 467, Spectrum – 1240, Comcast – 790, RCN – 618, NYC Life TV (Channel 25.1), and extra
  • To tune in on the radio: Bloomberg Radio New York 1130 AM and WQBU-FM (92.7 FM – Spanish)
  • Extra livestreams, together with on YouTube, could turn out to be obtainable—if that occurs, we are going to embed one right here

With yet another debate scheduled on June sixteenth just for “main contenders,” Wednesday evening would be the final alternative that a few of the decrease polling candidates must make their case earlier than a big viewers. So anticipate a debate with extra fireworks than the primary.

“The stakes are excessive for everyone however explicit excessive for these polling lowest,” mentioned David Birdsell, dean of the Baruch School College of Public Affairs.

That features Shaun Donovan, the previous housing secretary beneath President Obama, and Ray McGuire, the ex-Citigroup government, two candidates who’ve spent closely on their campaigns however have struggled to realize traction.

Listed below are another issues to observe for because the candidates take the stage and make their televised argument to voters.

Will Yang Shed His Mr. Good Man Persona?

For the higher a part of the race, Yang has kept away from making direct assaults in opposition to his opponents, usually leaving that work to his marketing campaign managers and supporters. However in latest weeks, he is proven extra enamel: he has denounced Adams, accusing the latter of unethical fundraising practices and being a part of the entrenched political institution. Following a Day by day Information editorial cartoon, he additionally criticized a few of his opponents for leaning into anti-Asian rhetoric by repeatedly questioning his authenticity as a New Yorker. (In response, Adams, who was named by Yang’s marketing campaign as amongst his rivals perpetuating the stereotype of Asians as all the time international, accused Yang of “spinning.”)

And final week, throughout an interview on WNYC’s Brian Lehrer Present, Yang took purpose at Garcia, who he had beforehand mentioned he admired and would supply a job in his administration.

“Proper now, New Yorkers complain to me nearly daily in regards to the piles of trash that we’re seeing round us that get greater and better,” he mentioned. (Garcia left her job as sanitation commissioner in September.)

Yang additionally tied Garcia to the de Blasio administration, saying, “We want somebody very completely different than Mayor de Blasio, and Kathryn, regardless of her service to the town, is a part of an administration that a number of New Yorkers know has not labored.”

On Tuesday, Yang held a press convention in Brooklyn wherein he delivered a “closing message speech.”

Taking a number of jabs at Adams, he mentioned, “Your second has handed.”

Adams, in a attainable preview of Wednesday’s debate, returned the hearth at his personal press occasion within the Bronx, the place he mentioned Yang wanted to finish his marketing campaign.

Birdsell famous that going adverse poses particular dangers for Yang, who has up till now promoted himself as an optimistic cheerleader for the town.

“Mr. Grumpy can’t lead Enjoyable Metropolis,” he mentioned.

Maya Wiley Seeks To Consolidate Progressive Help

Wiley, the previous civil rights lawyer and counsel for Mayor Invoice de Blasio, was thought of the strongest performer within the first debate, regularly interjecting and unsettling Adams as she scored “gotcha moments” over his stop-and-frisk statements through the years.

That first debate got here shortly after Scott Stringer, the town comptroller who like Wiley is operating beneath a progressive mantle, was accused of sexual assault and undesirable advances by a now lobbyist who volunteered for him twenty years in the past. Though he denied the allegations, he misplaced key supporters. Wiley was amongst those that referred to as on Stringer to withdraw from the race.

Now, Wiley has a possibility to capitalize on the struggles of one other progressive rival: probably the most left-wing candidate, Dianne Morales, is at present battling inner marketing campaign turmoil amid a unionizing effort by staffers.

On Tuesday, the Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Membership, a outstanding progressive and LGBTQ advocacy group, rescinded their endorsement for Morales. The membership mentioned it can as a substitute again Wiley.

Consultants say the following debate can be a check of whether or not Wiley can unite progressive voters.

“Her strategic crucial is to get the left, management it—take what Stringer and Morales have—and consolidate a base she thinks is there,” mentioned Hank Sheinkopf, a veteran political advisor.

He mentioned debate watchers can anticipate Wiley to push her plan for police reform, a problem which she has made central to her marketing campaign. Her new TV ad launched on Tuesday options footage of NYPD vehicles driving into Black Lives Matter protesters final summer time and Wiley criticizing the police response.

“They bumped into peaceable protesters, beat others to the bottom, and New York’s leaders defended it,” she mentioned.

During a press conference in Gowanus, Garcia presented details of her transit plan.


Garcia comes into the talk with arguably probably the most momentum of the eight candidates.

Elizabeth Kim / Gothamist

Can Garcia Spell Out A Imaginative and prescient (Whereas Taking Some Hits)?

Coming off a brand new ballot final week that put her because the frontrunner, Garcia comes into the talk with arguably probably the most momentum of the candidates. Cash and identify recognition have been two main hurdles for the first-time candidate, however on Monday, the New York Occasions reported that Garcia can be getting her first tremendous PAC. Jon Jones and Ronnie Cho, two former members of Barack Obama’s first presidential marketing campaign, advised the Occasions they had been looking for to boost greater than $1 million and had already acquired six-figure commitments from donors.

On Tuesday, she appeared on CNN.

Consultants say that Garcia’s subsequent check is whether or not she will transfer past her argument of managerial competence.

“It’s not enough for individuals to maintain saying they seem to be a good supervisor,” Sheinkopf mentioned. “It could be true however it’s not going to hold the day. While you get this near the tip of the marketing campaign, specificity issues.”

In response to Birdsell, Garcia might want to ship a compelling imaginative and prescient of what her mayoralty would imply for New Yorkers.

“She’s made it very clear that she needs to run the town properly, however it’s not essentially what will get individuals’s juices flowing,” he mentioned.

Voters, he added, “need to see the place you will take the town.”

On the similar time, as evidenced by Yang’s latest feedback, Garcia will possible must fend off some assaults, one thing she has but to expertise on a sustained degree.

“Now, that she is both primary or quantity two, the knives are going to be out,” Birdsell mentioned.

An In-Individual, On-Digicam Debate Will Change The Vibe

Whereas the candidates and most voters mentioned good riddance to Zoom debates, the digital format introduced surprising equalizing results: by being contained inside sq. bins, the candidates confronted not one of the normal scrutiny over top and look.

As an alternative, because the final debate demonstrated, viewers had been extra targeted on dissecting the candidates backgrounds, as evidenced by the social media chatter/envy over Shaun Donovan’s very expensive-looking kitchen.

However Wednesday’s debate will return voters to the old-school format of individuals standing behind podiums and cameras that may zoom out and in, honing in on response photographs that did not all the time register beneath the static course of Zoom.

“You’ll have a complete physique to check with one other complete physique and that’s only a completely different dynamic,” Birdsell mentioned.

Top is commonly thought of a bonus in politics. At 6-foot-5, de Blasio towered over this main opponents in 2013 and in the end turned the tallest mayor in New York Metropolis historical past.

Over the a long time, scrutiny over bodily look has been particularly unfair to feminine candidates, one of the best instance being the multitude of criticisms directed at Hillary Clinton throughout her presidential run.

Nonetheless, some have argued that trend is a political device that deserves to be examined and brought critically. In her first TV advert, Garcia grabbed consideration by sporting shiny purple lipstick and donning a black leather-based jacket—signifiers for femininity, edginess and energy.

Alongside that vein, debate watchers will possible see Yang go tieless as he has through the mayoral marketing campaign path (and his presidential run), a logo of his “breezy colloquialness,” in line with Birdsell.

As with so many political messages, its affect is diffuse and depending on the viewers.

“Does that in the end assist him? That’s going to be a special reply for various constituencies,” he mentioned.