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The city's largest daily newspapers -- the New York Times and the Daily News -- have endorsed Republican Mayor Rudolph Giuliani for re-election over his Democratic challenger, Ruth Messinger.

In an editorial Sunday, the Times cited a significant drop in the city's overall crime rate and his efforts to rid wholesale food markets of organized-crime influences.

The Daily News praised Giuliani for having "been true to his word," in campaign promises about quality-of-life issues, crime and the budget.

But both papers noted Giuliani's feisty, at times, mean-spirited nature.

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