By Anna Spivak

City Councilwoman Letitia James and State Senator Daniel Squadron rehearsed their arguments for becoming the next public advocate before different audiences in different boroughs on Tuesday as they prepared to square off in the first and only debate before the Democratic run-off  next week.

“The rich cannot buy this election,” said James, 54, joined by  members of  Black, Latino, and Asian Caucus  of the City Council  on the steps of City Hall. “This election is not for sale.”

Meanwhile Squadron, 33, serving his third term in the legislature,  air max 90 was scheduled to make his case before the Flushing Chinese Business Association in Queens. He has been endorsed by Senator Chares Schumer and former public advocates, Mark Green and Betsy Gotbaum.

The candidates, both liberal Democrats, have similar stands on most issues, such as stop-and-frisk and education, and have tried to differentiate their candidacies on matters of character and independence. James has tried to portray Squadron as a pawn of Mayor Bloomberg and the political  power structure while Squadron returns the favor by saying that the Councilwoman has voted with the mayor 98 percent ofv the time.

James’ supporters among black and women interest groups sometimes have focused on race and gender in the campaign.