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Queens Chronicle

Katz's whisker-thin DA victory certified

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Posted: Monday, July 29, 2019 3:06 pm

The city Board of Elections has certified Borough President Melinda Katz the winner of the primary election for Queens district attorney Monday afternoon.

The certification, made at a five-minute, pro forma meeting in downtown Manhattan, however, does not end the controversy that has surrounded one of the closest and most politically charged elections in the city’s recent past.

A three-week, manual recount of the ballots cast gave Katz a 60-vote margin over Tiffany Cabán, a 31-year-old public defender who challenged the Democratic party establishment and was within reach of a startling upset. 

The certified tally showed Katz winning by less than one-tenth of one percent, 34,920 votes to 34,860. 

On Wednesday, lawyers for the Cabán and Katz campaigns are due in Queens Supreme Court to argue whether 114 affadavit ballots that were invalidated by the BOE  should be counted.

As well, Cabán’s lawyers want the specially appointed from Brooklyn to rule on the validity of about 100 ballots where the intent of the voters were questioned, like the hanging chad controversy that consumed the 2000 presidential election in Florida.

“More than a hundred ballots cast by eligible and registered Democratic voters continue to hang in the balance, and will determine the final outcome of this election,” said Cabán attorney Jerry Goldfeder. 

Nevertheless, certification gives Katz a leg up in the race to named Democratic nominee for DA in November’s general election. 

In fact, Katz sent out “Save the Date” notices on Sunday night for a victory party in Forest Hills at the same restaurant where she was supposed to have hosted a victory party on primary night, June 25.

On that night, it appeared the 53-year-old borough president had been upset by Cabán by somewhat more than 1,000 votes.

She crawled back to a skinny 16-vote lead after absentees ballots were counted a few days after the election.

Because the overwhelming number of voters in the borough are registered Democratic, the nomination is considered tantamount to election.

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