The mayoral debate wrapped up a few minutes before Tuesday night’s Red Sox playoff game, but Annissa Essaibi-George and Michelle Wu swung hard for the fences, going after each other over issues political and personal in an unusually rancorous clash.© Provided by Boston Herald Annissa Essaibi-George and Michelle Wu, candidates for Mayor of Boston, take a moment with moderator Latoyia Edwards, shortly before the start of the NBC10Boston, Dot News, Bay State Banner debate. (NBC10Boston photo.)
The feistiest exchange in the hourlong NBC 10-run debate came as the candidates traded blows over a Herald story about Wu’s connections to a luxury developer after Essaibi-George — who has taken flak for her husband’s business dealings — brought it up.
“I’d love you to also explain then why your husband — if we’re going to talk about my husband — is a resident agent for this person, and you have no knowledge of him, no relationship to him and in fact, that family didn’t help you and assist you in purchasing your home that you live in today,” Essaibi-George said.
Wu insisted she and her husband “scraped and scrapped to purchase a home, and today I’m grateful and blessed to be able to live in that home, but every penny of it came from the work that my husband and I have put in.”
She then counterattacked, comparing Essaibi-George’s jabs to Trump-style “scare tactics,” adding, “The people of Boston deserve better.”
But Essaibi-George responded, “You should be clearer, you should be more transparent, and I hope that the people of Boston hold you accountable in that response.”
The debate wrapped up at 8 p.m. Tuesday, exactly two weeks to the hour from when polls will close on Election Day. This was the second debate in the general election, and was punchier than the generally staid first affair last week.
Both candidates did keep up normal lines of attack, with Wu painting Esaibi-George as the “status quo” candidate, and the two sparring over rent control, which Wu supports and Essaibi-George opposes in one of the few significant policy differences between the two.
Essaibi-George multiple times accused Wu of taking her ideas, both over the Madison Park Technical Vocational High School and in advocating for clinicians to respond to some 911 calls with cops.
“You’re taking credit for something that I’ve done as a member of the city council,” Essaibi-George said.
Wu pushed back, saying, “I’m disappointed to see a pattern of false statements being made here,” and saying that her opponent’s ideas hadn’t gone far enough.
Wu and Essaibi-George, both at-large city councilors, advanced through September’s preliminary election as the top two vote-getters, with Wu drawing 33% and Essaibi-George 22%.
Polls have shown Wu with a sizable lead heading into the Nov. 2 general contest. The latest, which came out on Tuesday from Suffolk University and The Boston Globe, had Wu up 62% to 30%. That’s a similar margin as other polling has shown.
The winner will become mayor in four weeks on Nov. 16, and will be the first woman and person of color to be elected to the position.
In a rapid-fire round of questions, the candidates had to choose their favorite Bostonians. Wu said Melnea Cass, the famed “first lady of Roxbury. Essaibi-George said her dad, citing his immigration from Tunisia.
They also had to pick their favorite current Red Sox player. Neither fell into the ever-looming Boston politics trap of not knowing one or butchering a name; Essaibi-George picked erstwhile ace pitcher Chris Sale, and Wu chose playoffs hotshot center fielder Kiké Hernandez.
Source : https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/michelle-wu-annissa-essaibi-george-clash-in-feisty-boston-mayor-debate/ar-AAPJ18N871