The Republican mayoral candidates will face off on Wednesday in their first TV debate of the 2021 primary season.
In a town that skews blue, the Republican mayoral candidates haven’t attracted the same buzz as their Democrat counterparts — eight of whom debated earlier this month. But either Mateo or Sliwa could be the only name opposing the Democratic nominee in November’s general election.
The debate is organized in partnership with NY1, WNYC/Gothamist, THE CITY, Citizens Union, John Jay College of Criminal Justice and Social Work Votes (Columbia School of Social Work & Latino Leadership Institute).
The event will be broadcast live on Spectrum News NY1 and WNYC from 7 p.m to 8 p.m., with a live stream below:
Moderator Errol Louis of NY1 will ask the candidates questions, along with WNYC’s Brian Lehrer and THE CITY’s Josefa Velasquez.
Mateo, who has long advocated for bodega owners and taxi drivers, has invested in restaurants in The Bronx and Upper Manhattan. In 2013, he was linked to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s fundraising scandal, but neither he nor the mayor faced charges.
Sliwa is best known for founding the Guardian Angels, a volunteer crime-prevention group that started out patrolling city subways in the late 1970s and has since expanded its reach beyond New York. He’s also a longtime radio host.
Public safety and the city’s economic recovery from the pandemic are two of the flagship issues the candidates have taken up on the trail and are all but certain to be central themes of the debate.
The Republican duo will go head-to-head at their next debate on Sunday, June 6. Subsequent Democratic mayoral debates will take place on Wednesday, June 2, and Wednesday, June 16.