Call it the debate over who won the debate.
Following last night’s debate between Democrat City Council member Vinnie Gentile and Republican Staten Island District Attorney Dan Donovan – the candidates for upcoming 11th Congressional District May 5 special election – both sides issued releases that their candidate clearly delivered knockout blows.
“Gentile dominated the one-hour debate, broadcast live on Time Warner Cable’s NY1 News, and moderated by political anchor Errol Louis, while his opponent seemed evasive and diffident,” according to the press release from Gentile’s camp.
“Gentile brought his A-game and came prepared to make clear exactly why this election isn’t just a choice between two candidates but between two fundamentally different paths for working families.
“Tonight’s debate made it abundantly clear why Dan Donovan has spent the past week making excuses for why he wouldn’t, couldn’t or didn’t know if he could attend several upcoming forums—when it comes to the substance of what Staten Island and Brooklyn need, he simply cannot hold a candle to Vinnie Gentile. The Councilman again proved that he is the one and only candidate capable of representing the 11th congressional district.”
But according to the Donovan camp, their candidate, “presented a clear contrast of an independent leader who will work to cut taxes, reign in our nation’s unsustainable debt and protect us from threats to our national security, versus Mr. Gentile’s record of raising taxes, increasing spending 77% and rubberstamp support for the the failed Obama foreign policy.”
“On issues of national debt, taxes and economic growth, Mr. Gentile repeatedly recited Pelosi talking points without providing any solutions to deal with the nation’s fiscal problems. Mr. Gentile also doubled down on his support for President Obama’s Iran deal, despite reservations from many of New York’s top Democrats.”
Donovan spokeswoman Jessica Proud said the debate highlighted how voters now have a clear vision on who is a better candidate to represent Staten Island and parts of Southern Brooklyn.
“Voters can select a proven, independent leader in Dan Donovan who will fight to cut taxes, create jobs and protect our freedoms or Mr. Gentile’s ineffective, tax-and-spend record that takes the de Blasio agenda to Washington. Tonight’s debate showed just how out-of- touch Mr. Gentile is with the needs of Staten Islanders,” she said.