DC mayoral candidates clash over education policy during first general-election debate

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WASHINGTON — The candidates for mayor of Washington have clashed over their plans to improve the city's public schools during the first general-election debate.

Democratic nominee Muriel Bowser said Thursday that a vote for her leading opponent, independent David Catania, would be "taking a chance on ping-pongs in leadership" for District of Columbia schools. Bowser has pledged to retain schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson, while Catania has not.

Catania suggested that Bowser's record on education consists of empty platitudes and noted that she has voted for all the legislation he's proposed to improve schools.

Bowser defeated Mayor Vincent Gray in the Democratic primary, making her the favorite to win the general election in the overwhelmingly Democratic city. A poll released Wednesday by The Washington Post showed her leading Catania by 17 percentage points.

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