Republican NYC mayoral hopefuls meet for debate

NEW YORK (AP) — The Republican candidates for New York City mayor are getting set to square off for a debate as the campaign enters its final stretch.

Former MTA chairman Joe Lhota Wednesday night will go up against John Catsimatidis, the billionaire oil and grocery store magnate, and George McDonald, who founded a non-profit to help the homeless find work.

Lhota leads all recent polls but Catsimatidis, who is spending his own fortune on the race, is within striking distance. The race has grown increasingly bitter in recent weeks, and Catsimatidis just released a TV ad that mocks Lhota for calling Port Authority police officers “mall cops.”

The candidates are scheduled to meet for one final debate on Sept. 8. The primary is two days later.

The general election is Nov. 5.

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