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Lhota Attack Ad Says Crime Will Skyrocket If De Blasio Is Elected

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A day after some of his supporters said he needed to be on the attack more in his first debate, Republican candidate for Mayor Joseph Lhota answered their calls, launching a new ad that says crime will skyrocket if his rival, Bill de Blasio, is elected mayor. NY1's Zack Fink filed the following report.

A new ad from Joseph Lhota's mayoral campaign accuses Bill de Blasio of voting to take police officers off the street. It also uses images from a motorcycle gang assault last month that was caught on video and has captivated the city.

The ad then shows images from an earlier era in New York City, when crime was rampant.

"Don't let Bill de Blasio take New York backwards," the ad says.

De Blasio was critical of the ad Wednesday.

"This is just like the Willie Horton ad. It is divisive and negative," de Blasio said. "The images are so far over the top, it's unbelievable that anybody responsible would ever have authorized such a thing."

The ad was also criticized by Letitia James, who's expected to be elected public advocate after winning the Democratic primary.

"I'm urging Joe Lhota to remove the ads," she said. "They're offensive. They engage in race baiting and fear mongering."

"Whoa, whoa. There's no race baiting here. There's absolutely no race baiting here. None of those photographs include anyone of color in the pictures," Lhota said. "Let's get this straight. I'm talking about the truth. Bill de Blasio will send us back in time."

Lhota was on Staten Island Wednesday morning, where he addressed tolls and construction delays.

In the afternoon, he campaigned in Borough Park, where he defended his role in the Giuliani administration.

During Tuesday nights's debate, De Blasio called Giuliani the most divisive mayor in recent history.

"Let's remember back, hearken back to when David Dinkins was the mayor," Lhota said. "That was the last time we had a riot in the city of New York."

On Thursday night, Lhota will hold a fundraiser at the Sheraton in Manhattan, where VIPs will pay up to $1,000 per ticket. It's being held to celebrate Lhota's birthday, which was actually earlier this month.

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