NEW YORK (AP) — A major debate for the Republican nominee for New York City mayor is underway.
Joe Lhota and John Catsimatidis each defended the NYPD's contentious stop-and-frisk practice in the debate's first minutes.
Critics say the tactic discriminates against minorities. Its defenders say it drives down crime.
Longshot candidate George McDonald is also participating in the debate, the first televised showdown of the campaign's final two weeks.
Lhota served as deputy mayor under Rudolph Giuliani and steered the Metropolitan Transit Authority through Hurricane Sandy. He has led the polls all campaign.
But Catsimatidis remains within striking distance. And a poll last week indicated that nearly a third of the electorate is undecided.
The primary is Sept. 10. The general election is Nov. 5.