“Andrew, your approach is naive,” replied Mr. Stringer. “That’s not the way Albany works, Albany will sue you. Albany will bring you down if you don’t understand that state forces don’t want us to get the funding we deserve.
Mr Stringer presented himself as a seasoned hand of the government with a list of progressive policies. His ability to engage young left-wing voters, however, was hampered after a woman accused him earlier this spring of making unwanted sexual advances during a 2001 campaign, allegations he denied.
Last week, a second woman accused Mr Stringer of making unwanted sexual advances while, she says, working at a bar he co-owned decades ago. Mr Stringer said he did not remember Teresa Logan, the woman behind the allegations, but said he apologized if he had met her and made her feel badly. ‘easy.
“I want to be held accountable to anyone who wants, press or otherwise, to investigate what happened 30 years ago and 20 years ago,” he said. “Unfortunately, in the middle of a campaign, it was difficult to find a way to communicate this. Now it’s up to the voters to look at my 30 years of service and my personal history and decide who is best qualified to be mayor.
“It takes two to make any sexual behavior welcome,” Ms. Wiley added. Mr. Stringer said he agreed.
Ms Wiley is seeking to become the flag bearer for the left wing of the Democratic Party, as part of her efforts to build a coalition comprising voters of color from all ideological backgrounds as well as white progressives.
Over the past week, lawmakers and left-wing leaders have made a major effort to consolidate around her campaign: Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez supported her last weekend; Jumaane D. Williams, the New York public attorney, did the same on Wednesday.
Dianne Morales, a former nonprofit executive, had also fought for support from the left base, but amid a campaign uprising and a fight against union organizing efforts, she fired dozens of workers this week, according to the union. She was not invited to take part in Thursday’s debate, nor were two other candidates who participated in previous debates: Shaun Donovan, the former federal housing secretary, and Raymond J. McGuire, a former Citi executive.
Natalie Prieb contributed reporting.