(Bloomberg) -- In their final televised appearance together before the June 22 primary election, the eight leading Democratic candidates for New York mayor debated crime and policing, housing and homelessness, budgets, climate change and undocumented immigrants. The debate got heated when candidates were asked to identify the worst ideas proposed by their rivals.

Early voting ends June 20. Many voters remain puzzled over a ranked-choice voting system that asks residents to select their top five candidates, rather than choose just one.

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  • NYC Mayor Race Becomes Progressives’ 2021 Shot to Show Clout

Charter Schools Part of Adams Plan

Eric Adams, the current frontrunner in the mayoral race, said his education priorities for the city include charter schools as well as public and private institutions.

”My vision is surrounding, lifting up excellence, if that means charter schools, public schools, private schools, let’s duplicate successful schools in our city,” Adams, 60, said Thursday in an interview with Bloomberg Television.

Adams, the Brooklyn borough president and a 22-year veteran of the New York Police Department, called for schools to pay more attention to non-academic issues such as nutrition and to allow private businesses to have a hand in developing curriculum. He called for more technology in the schools, including more wireless access. -- Skylar Woodhouse and Henry Goldman

Debate Takeaways

Wednesday night’s debate was marked by barbs traded between Adams and Andrew Yang, the former presidential candidate who has fallen behind Adams in recent polls. Yang assailed the former police captain for not having the right answers to fight crime, and taunted him with the fact that the union representing New York Police Department captains endorsed Yang, not Adams. Adams said he never asked for their endorsement, but Yang said he did.

Former Citigroup Inc. banker Ray McGuire, who has spent the most on the mayoral race and is near the bottom of the pack in polls, squabbled with nonprofit executive Dianne Morales over whether he spoke for minorities in the city. McGuire also took aim at Scott Stringer, the city comptroller, and Maya Wiley, a civil-rights advocate, as he worked to distinguish himself from the pack. -- Henry Goldman and Skylar Woodhouse

Read more here: Adams, Yang Spar as McGuire Takes Shots in Final NYC Debate

Second-Choice Picks

Candidates looking for clues to how people will vote with a ranked-choice system may find them in the WNBC/Telemundo 47/Politico/Marist Poll conducted June 3-9.

Adams isn’t just polling high for first-choice picks, but is also the most popular second choice: Adams was the second pick among likely Democratic primary voters who named Stringer, McGuire and Yang as their first choice.The big exception was respondents who ranked former city Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia first and then Wiley second, and vice versa. For those who named Adams as their first choice, Yang was their most common second choice. Likely Democratic primary voters ranked an average of 2.8 candidates, the poll found.

With ranked-choice voting, candidates who are broadly liked may benefit from being listed as a second or third choice, even if they are not the first choice of a majority of voters. It is possible for a candidate who initially comes in second or third place to emerge as the winner after candidates are disqualified. -- Stacie Sherman

De Blasio on Race to Replace Him

Mayor Bill de Blasio said many of the Democratic candidates’ plans for the city would continue or expand upon policies enacted by his administration, “even if they don’t want to admit it.”

“It was very entertaining in the debates to hear people talk about things we should do as a city that we’re already doing,” de Blasio, who is term limited, said in a conversation with former deputy mayor Howard Wolfson that was published by Bloomberg Opinion on Wednesday. “I think they have bought in to the vast majority of the core policies of my administration, even if they don’t want to admit it.”

With less than a week until the election, de Blasio said he has not decided whether to endorse a candidate or who will be on his ballot. At a debate earlier this month, all of the top candidates except Yang said they didn’t want de Blasio’s backing. And in a recent Emerson College poll, few voters said his endorsement would make them more likely to support a candidate. -- Stacie Sherman

Read more here: De Blasio’s Summer, New York’s Future: Howard Wolfson

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