NEWARK - The two candidates vying for mayor of the Brick City took part in a question and answer forum Wednesday night, less than a week before the election.

Ras Baraka and Shavar Jeffries pulled no verbal punches at the forum held by Cablevision in Newark.

The two have run bruising campaigns and received endorsements from both political figures and Hollywood celebrities.

The issue of crime has been a recurring theme during the campaign. "We reduced crime at Central High School, we began to eradicate gang violence in the city," says Baraka. "The Fraternal Order of Police endorsed us because we have a strategy that involves Operation Cease Fire."

"We know where crime didn't go down and that's in the south ward under Councilman Baraka, where murders have gone up 70 percent in the last few years," Jeffries says. "He did nothing when 170 cops were laid off." 

The forum was one of the last chances for voters to hear from Baraka, a city coucilman and Jeffries, former assistant state attorney general on a variety of topics including job growth, the city's budget and fighting crime.

The election is scheduled for Tuesday, May 13.