Republicans Sliwa and Mateo Face Off in Fiery Mayoral Debate
BY JUAN MANUEL BENITEZ | NY1 | MAR 31, 2021
Republican candidates for mayor Curtis Sliwa and Fernando Mateo didn’t waste much time with niceties.
Guardian Angels founder Sliwa started the debate reminding businessman Mateo about his donations to Democrat Mayor Bill de Blasio.
“You raised money for him, straw-purchased donors, which is illegal. You helped elect the man who single-handedly has destroyed this city,” Sliwa said.
Mateo did raise money for the current mayor, but he was never charged with a crime.
“You know what? I have enough dirt to cover your body 18 feet over,” Mateo responded.
This is both candidates’ first run for office.
Dominican-born Mateo has advocated for livery cab drivers for decades, and has worked for Republican campaigns like President George W. Bush’s and Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s.
Sliwa is a radio host and former NY1 pundit.
Mateo, who would become the first Latino mayor of New York, spoke about how, at age 14, he was adopted by a Jewish family, "who basically taught me what it was to work hard, who taught me what it was to earn a living and to move forward in life, and to stop looking at myself as a person of color and look at myself as a person of integrity."
Both candidates think Donald Trump will run again for president in 2024, and agree Governor Andrew Cuomo should be criminally indicted for the nursing home scandal.
Sliwa and Mateo said they wouldn’t keep Dermot Shea as Police Commissioner.