Thursday, April 17, 2014


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Mayoral Hopefuls Have Faith In Their Message

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With just over two weeks until Election Day, the candidates for mayor headed to church Sunday to make their pitch to voters and trade swipes outside. NY1's Grace Rauh filed the following report.

Democrat Bill de Blasio looks like he is enjoying himself inside the The Greater Allen A.M.E Cathedral in Queens, clapping in time with the music. Republican Joe Lhota, meanwhile, does not appear nearly as engaged during a visit to the Emmanual Church of God in Brooklyn. His wife, Tamra, is singing along, but Lhota does not join in.

The scenes may not be all that surprising, given how the race is going. With a massive lead in the polls over his rival, de Blasio has plenty to smile about. For Lhota, the path to victory is not all that clear.

"I want this city to be a great city," Lhota said.

In church, de Blasio again promised to improve relations between police and New Yorkers.

"We don't need two approaches to policing, separate and unequal. We need one approach that will make the city safer - ever safer - by bringing police and community back together again," De Blasio said.

Lhota is arguing that the city will be less safe if de Blasio is elected. It is unclear yet whether that is helping him win over voters.

Lhota is trying to put a positive spin on his low poll numbers. And he is dismissive of Republican critics who argue that he is stumbling.

"Comments from the cheap seats mean nothing. They are not in my campaign. When Bill de Blasio starts talking about issues instead of attacking me and attacking me. I think absolutely, my numbers will go up," Lhota said.

Despite his wide lead, de Blasio is hardly ignoring Lhota, a former deputy mayor under Rudy Giuliani.

"My opponent needs to think about when he is bragging about his experience, he is, in effect, bragging about being the right hand man to the most divisive mayor we have ever had. I'm not sure that is something to be proud of," De Blasio said.

De Blasio is treating Lhota like a formidable rival, perhaps a sign that he anticipates the race will tighten in the coming days. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP