NEW YORK — Friday’s debate for city comptroller on NY1 was held virtually, after Republican candidate Daby Carreras declined to provide proof of vaccination.

As it turned out, it was just one of the many ways he and Democrat Brad Lander showed themselves to be very different candidates.

What You Need To Know

  • Democrat Brad Lander and Republican Daby Carreras faced off in a NY1 debate

  • The debate was held virtually after Carreras refused to provide proof of vaccination

  • Carreras made unfounded accusations and often failed to directly answer questions

  • Lander, a three-term Brooklyn councilman, is the overwhelming favorite in the race

“My privacy is my privacy,” Carreras said in explaining his decision. "And that’s what’s missing with these mandates, that Mr. Lander and Bill de Blasio are all looking to do to our children now — mandate people. We do not comply with that.”

Mayor Bill de Blasio this week announced a COVID-19 vaccination mandate for all city workers, but has in fact opposed a mandate for students.

Related: “Off Topic/On Politics” podcast on potential ripple effects of the vaccine mandate


“It’s actually working, with our teachers,” Lander said of the workforce mandate. “It’s working in our health care institutions. And the faster that we get the vast majority of New Yorkers vaccinated, the faster a wide range of New York can open back up.”

Carreras, a financial manager, spent much of the debate touting his experience, but often failing to directly answer questions.

“The entire reason why I’m here is because I bring money here,” he said at one point. “I’m a money wave. Ching, ching, ching goes the money tree. Every time it chings, money comes to me.”

Meanwhile, Lander, a three-term Brooklyn councilman, stuck to the platform that helped him triumph in a crowded Democratic primary.

When asked what city agency deserves extra scrutiny, he pointed to Rikers Island and the Department of Correction:

“We spend over $447,000 per incarcerated person per year,” he said. “That’s far more per person than any of our peer cities. And look at the horrific outcomes.”

Lander said he would not invest pension money in cryptocurrency, at least for now. And he fended off unfounded accusations from his opponent. More than once, Carreras claimed that Lander had stolen $89 million from nonprofits, but did not provide any further explanation or support for his claim, even after being asked repeatedly.

“He’s just making up a number,” Lander said. “Mr. Carreras, I have no idea what you’re talking about. You said $89 million a few times. I don’t know if that’s measured in dilithium.”

On one point of agreement, neither candidate said he was interested in being mayor.

And as for Carreras's claim that people like him were being excluded from the city, Lander said this: “There is room in New York for everyone. Mr. Carreras, there’s absolutely room in New York for you. We’re glad you’re here. I just don’t think you should be in the comptroller’s office.”


Watch the full debate above.


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