NEW YORK (AP) — Democratic candidates hoping to become New York City's next mayor have started their final debate criticizing the current mayor.
Tuesday's high-stakes showdown is being held a week before the Sept. 10 primary. It opened with the candidates blaming independent Mayor Michael Bloomberg for not negotiating new contracts with city workers.
Public Advocate Bill de Blasio (dih BLAH'-zee-oh) say he'd strike new deals but can't promise retroactive raises. A new poll released hours before the debate shows de Blasio is the choice of 43 percent of likely Democratic voters.
To avoid a runoff, a candidate must garner more than 40 percent. If no one makes that mark, the top two primary finishers advance to an Oct. 1 runoff.
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and ex-comptroller Bill Thompson are far behind de Blasio in recent polls.