Republican candidate for public advocate J.C.Polanco and Republican candidate for comptroller Michel Faulkner each pledged that their respective debates this week will be far more civil and controlled than last week’s mayoral debate. That debate has been widely criticized for its raucous tone. Speaking just ahead of a Queens County Republican “unity breakfast” Saturday both candidates criticized the mayoral debate and expressed confidence that their debates will be different. Polanco and Faulkner debate their respective Democratic opponent this week.
J.C. Polanco, who did not attend the mayoral debate as he was teaching a college class that evening but later watched a rerun, said “I don’t like that kind of chaos.” Saying that “Tish and I have respect for each other” Polanco declared that “our debate’s going to be the debate of the season.” He went on to say that “”we have a plan to talk about real issues without the circus act.” Polanco also expressed appreciation that incumbent Public Advocate Tish James agreed to debate him, despite his failure to meet the Campaign Finance Board fundraising thresholds that would require her to debate him. From the beginning of his campaign Polanco has had kind personal words for James.
Michel Faulkner, who attended the mayoral debate, said that “I was kind of embarrassed as a citizen.” Faulkner attributed the poor debate primarily to the audience, rather than the candidates, although he also ascribed responsibility to the debate organizers and moderator for not more effectively explaining and enforcing the rules. Faulkner, who says he has known his opponent Scott Stringer for 20 years and who appears on friendly terms with him when they cross paths at political events, said that he called Stringer immediately after the mayoral debate and that they agreed “100%” that their debate would not be like the mayoral debate.