Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is helping Zephyr Teachout in two ways: praising her before college kids at SUNY New Paltz, then attacking Teachout's lone male opponent in an interview.

"Now is not the time to be using sexist rhetoric," Ocasio-Cortez said.

The Democratic congressional candidate is referring to a forum Thursday.

Maloney and Teachout jousted over his vote to weaken the Dodd-Frank financial bill.

"Her rhetoric on this is completely unhinged," he said.

Some see the word unhinged as particularly offensive.

"He responded with an overtly gendered attack," Teachout said. "I thought it was totally inappropriate."

Ocasio-Cortez went further, placing it the context of sexual assault in Albany, gender imbalance in Washington and the sexism she says she faced during her winning primary.

"I respect the records of all of these candidates in the race, but I would want my attorney general race to be about the actual issues and less about the characterization of each other's personalities," she said.

Maloney's statement in response came from his campaign manager. She called it a "desperate attempt to take something out of context for purely political purposes."

"Sean was clearly talking about Teachout's rhetoric, and for the life of me I can't understand what this has to do with her gender," the statement goes on to say. "When Sean Patrick Maloney helped Teachout run for Congress, she called him a 'progressive leader' - now she wants people to believe he's a cartoon villain."

All sides seem to agree this race is very competive, with Maloney and Teachout also competing with Public Advocate Letitia James.

James is tethering her campaign to Governor Andrew Cuomo. Her establishment ties have some leaving her, but she says not enough to make a dent.

"I've got over 100 elected officials who are endorsing the candidacy of Letitia James," she said. "I've got countless number of ministers who are supporting the candidacy of Letitia James, and 99 percent of all unions throughout the state of New York."

Leecia Eve is also in the race. The Verizon lobbyist and former congressional staffer is seen now by many as a longshot.

Thursday's debate was the final one for the four Democrats. The winner of next Thursday's primary faces Republican Keith Wofford in the general election.