At first mayoral Democratic debate, rival focuses on de Blasio’s ties to real estate

Bill de Blasio’s underdog Democratic primary opponent used the first televised mayoral debate Wednesday night to paint the mayor as having “turned the city over to big developers” to make good on his promise of building record amounts of affordable housing.

Former Brooklyn Councilman Sal Albanese also sought to make an issue of the now-folded probes into the mayor’s political fundraising. Albanese alluded to recently disclosed email exchanges between de Blasio and JSR Capital founder Jona Rechnitz, who pleaded guilty in a separate police corruption investigation—as well as correspondence between City Hall and a prominent lobbyist, James Capalino.

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