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Queens Chronicle

Katz beats Murray to become next DA

BP wins election with 75 percent of the vote; will take office Jan. 1

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Posted: Thursday, November 7, 2019 10:30 am

She’s both borough president and district attorney-elect.

Democrat Melinda Katz won the Queens DA race Tuesday with 75 percent of the vote over Joe Murray, the cop-turned-lawyer who ran on the Republican line.

“We know that there is a better Queens ahead of us,” Katz said in her victory speech at Queens County Democratic headquarters in Forest Hills. “We know that together we will end cash bail. We know that together we will protect workers and make our work sites safe for our workers out there. We know that together we will protect immigrant rights and make sure we don’t have ICE agents in a court of law and in our courtroom because that’s not how you get justice.”

The general election was all but a foregone conclusion after Katz narrowly defeated public defender Tiffany Cabán in the Democratic primary when a recount gave her a come-from-behind victory.

Katz acknowledged the tough primary battle in her speech.

“Now’s the time when we all stand together,” she said. “Now’s the time when we work together every single day.”

There were seven candidates in the primary race, including Councilman Rory Lancman (D-Fresh Meadows), who dropped out of the contest and supported Katz. He was at the victory speech. Acting District Attorney John Ryan also came to the celebration.

Ryan replaced the late Richard Brown, who served in the position from 1991 until his death in May.

U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-Queens, Nassau), chairman of the Queens County Democratic Committee, which supported Katz, spoke about the importance of her win.

“We have someone that understands our borough,” Meeks said. “Someone that brought us all together. Someone that we can lean on and depend upon no matter where we come from this borough.”

The race for district attorney was one that saw many of the candidates criticizing Brown and the current regime for its championing of broken windows policing — going after smaller offenses to prevent bigger ones. There were 351 murders in the borough in Brown’s first year in office. Last year, there were 65. Longtime Assistant Queens District Attorney Greg Lasak finished a distant third in the Democratic primary.

Candidates, including Katz, talked about their goals to reform the system.

“I will work day and night to make sure that we not only keep this borough safe but that our young people get second chances, that we have rehab programs to make sure that people have the help they need,” she said on Tuesday.

Katz thanked Ryan for his appearance at the celebration, saying that he has been gracious in the transition. Ryan previously said that he will resign when the new district attorney takes office but would be willing to assist if needed.

The borough president touted the diversity of Queens and said, “we all want a better life for our families than we ever dreamed of having for ourselves.”

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  • Helton posted at 11:30 am on Thu, Nov 14, 2019.

    Helton Posts: 2

    Linnster and Jack are right on the money - But, don't you know that we're a progressive city? That means common sense and respect for the law don't matter. Look who got elected as San Fransicko's DA.

  • Linnster posted at 8:06 am on Fri, Nov 8, 2019.

    Linnster Posts: 10

    It's unfortunate that a person with absolutely no prosecution experience, or ANY trial experience for that matter, was elected to such an important position.

  • 204th Street Jack posted at 3:58 pm on Thu, Nov 7, 2019.

    204th Street Jack Posts: 23

    Always interesting to watch elections in a one party state..