Tuesday night was the first debate between the men vying to replace Michael Grimm in Congress. NY1’s Courtney Gross filed this report.
You might need a dictionary after this debate for Congress.
"That's called setting the record straight after some political trickinometry," said Councilman and Democratic candidate for Congress Vincent Gentile.
"Councilman Gentile has raised your taxes. He just has," said Staten Island District Attorney and Republican congressional candidate Dan Donovan.
"What he doesn't tell you is in that vote in the 2003 recession, it was right after 9-11 that was a temporary income tax for those making over $100,000," Gentile said.
It was just one of several clashes between Donovan and Gentile. They, along with Green Party candidate James Lane, are vying to replace former congressman Michael Grimm in a special election on May 5.
It was their first head-to-head match up and they clashed on everything from Social Security to the district attorney's record on prosecuting domestic violence cases.
"By county it shows Richmond County has a 22 percent conviction rate on domestic violence cases," Gentile said.
"There is no office in the city of New York that has done more for domestic violence victims then my office," Donovan retorted.
Attendees were also looking to take Donovan on—specifically on his office's failure to secure an indictment against the police officers who put Eric Garner in a chokehold.
Donovan: “Failure to get an indictment is the wrong terminology. You want to talk to me? Failure to get an indictment..."
Attendee: "How many times?"
Donovan: "Are you finished?”
When they were finished, it was Gentile who was claiming victory.
"I really want to get a chance to introduce myself to the Brooklyn portion of the district,” Donovan said.
Gross: "Do you think you won?
Gentile: “I think I won. Yes."
This may have been the first debate but it won't be the last. NY1 is hosting a live debate on April 14.