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Representative Max Rose (D., N.Y.) is calling fellow Democrat Bill de Blasio “the worst mayor in the history of New York City” in a series of digital ads released Wednesday.
The first-term Staten Island congressman is fighting a close race for re-election against Republican state assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis in the 11th congressional district, which covers Staten Island and southern Brooklyn.
“Bill de Blasio is the worst mayor in the history of New York City,” Rose says in a six second video as he looks into the camera. “That’s the whole ad.”
In another 15-second ad he repeats the accusation and says, “That’s it guys. Seriously. That’s the whole ad.”
A spokesman for de Blasio pushed back on Twitter, asking whether Rose “prefers Fernando Wood,” the city’s 1850s-era mayor who wanted the state to secede during the Civil War.
Rose has accused the mayor of failing to offer a concrete plan to reopen schools and of “actively trying to kill” New York City restaurants by prohibiting the reopening of indoor dining for months.
The congressman, who is a military veteran who served in Afghanistan and a member of the National Guard, criticized de Blasio as having “lost control of the situation” after protesters and rioters looted the city in the wake of the death of George Floyd and called on the National Guard to enforce curfew.
Malliotakis ran against de Blasio for mayor in 2017 and though she lost, she garnered 70 percent of the vote in conservative Staten Island. In 2018, Rose defeated former Representative Dan Donovan, a Republican, by just under 4 points.
Malliotakis and the GOP have run ads trying to connect Rose to the mayor on rising crime and anti-police protests, as well as ads blasting the congressman for voting to impeach President Trump.
The Malliotakis campaign expressed amusement with Rose’s efforts to separate himself from the Democratic mayor.
“It’s fun to watch two far-left politicians like Max Rose and Bill de Blasio squabble over who’s worst. The question Max Rose needs to answer is if he joined the nearly 70% of his constituents who voted for Nicole Malliotakis in the 2017 race for mayor,” Malliotakis spokesman Rob Ryan told the New York Post.