Salisbury Mayor Jake Day, Candidate Wayne King face off in Mayoral Debate

SALISBURY, Md. – It was a packed house at Salisbury University on Wednesday as Salisbury Mayor Jake Day faced his challenger, Wayne King, for the first time.

The two answered questions about several topics, including rent in the city, downtown construction, and more.

And while those topics were given a few minutes, two topics seemed to take up the most time: crime, which King says is rampant in the city, and political affiliations.

While the mayoral race is a non-partisan election, King repeatedly called Mayor Day a progressive.

“Progressive is not a noun, it’s a verb, it’s progressing toward socialism,” King said.

“It’s tried and true and sort of an old tactic for people to politicize non-partisan races,” Mayor Day said.

As for crime in the city, the two disagree about how safe the city is.

“I believe the crime is heading absolutely in the wrong direction,” King said to the audience. “Baltimore is a bad place, but we are somewhat like Little Baltimore,” he told 47 ABC.

But Mayor Day painted another picture.

“The real credit for the 43% reduction in part one crimes in ten years goes to the person who was hired to be our police chief ten years ago, Barbara Duncan,” Day said.

King, again, brought up the topic of political affiliations, reiterating his idea that Mayor Day is a progressive, then saying that progressives ruin cities.

“All the cities in our country right now that are messed up are run by progressives, they have high crime, they have become sanctuary cities,” King said.

Day, who reiterated several times during the debate that the mayoral race is a non-partisan one, says he’s focused on things other than labels.

“The reason I’m running for four more years is because we’re not done, we have more to do, I would certainly just step aside if I thought the job was done. But it’s not. We’ve got a lot of work to do,” the Mayor said.

But both contenders say they were happy to take the stage, and get their message across to voters ahead of November 5th.

“My goal for the debate was to break even, because there’s no way, not being in the office, to be able to know everything he knows, it’s impossible,” King said.

Mayor Day says the debate was a success, and he’s excited for the future.

“I feel great, I couldn’t feel better about how the debate went,” he said. “We are incredibly proud of the accomplishments we’ve made, and if you wonder what the next four years are like, look at the last four years.”

Categories: Local News, Maryland