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Stringer, Spitzer More Civil In Latest Debate

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While all eyes have been on the mayor's race, there has been plenty to watch in the campaign for city comptroller between Governor Eliot Spitzer and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, who squared off Thursday evening in their third debate. NY1's Zack Fink filed the following report.

In there debate Thursday evening, the two candidates were somewhat more civil to one another than they were in the previous NY1 sponsored debate.

That's not to say there weren't some flash points, including one exchange over Hurricane Sandy.

"You've been in your ivory while the rest of us have been grappling with the economic issues that have spoken to the problems that this city faces," Stringer said. "You were nowhere to be found during Hurricane Sandy."

"I helped friends after Sandy," Spitzer said. "Many people. Did many important things. Individually. Collectively. Those in government. Those not in government. I think we should appreciate that fact and be thankful to all of them."

The two candidates also gave very different answers to questions about whether Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who is under investigation for a second time for his handling of sexual harassment complaints in the Assembly, should resign.

"Depending the outcome of an investigation that shows that he may have engaged in wrongful activity," Stringer said. "You have to have the same standard for the speaker that you would to Eliot Spitzer."

"The members of the Assembly should elect a new speaker right now," Spitzer said. "The Assembly is ossified. It is broken."

Although Spitzer got into the race later than his rival, poll numbers have shown him ahead.

Spitzer:The poll numbers, well, let's be accurate, though, Mr. Stringer. As I said, repeating facts that are false doesn't make them true.
Stringer: There is a poll out today.
Spitzer: Scott, 19 and 18 was the margin by which I was up.

Spitzer resigned the governorship in 2008 over a prostitution scandal. He has mostly worked as a TV host and commentator since then. It was an issue that Stringer referenced in one of his answers in a response to a question about prostitution.

"The fact that we can even ask a candidate for comptroller about being client number 9 speaks to the issue of credibility in the capital markets," Stringer said.

There are, of course, limits to what the comptroller does. The comptroller primarily oversees the city's $140 billion pension funds. The office also conducts audits of city agencies and serves as a significant bully pulpit as one of only three citywide elected offices. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP