Nov. 6, 2019 By Allie Griffin
Melinda Katz sailed to victory in the Queens District Attorney race last night, easily beating the Republican candidate Joe Murray.
Katz, who has been the Queens Borough President since 2014, garnered nearly 75 percent of the votes — 138,000 to Murray’s 45,000, according to the unofficial results released by the Board of Elections. She will be the first woman to be Queens District Attorney when she is sworn in in January.
“I’m proud to be the District Attorney-elect for Queens,” Katz said. “The people of our borough deserve to feel safe and to know that their justice system is working for everyone.”
Katz said she will end cash bail, protect workers from unsafe work sites, ensure immigrants rights are protected and keep ICE agents away from the courthouses.
She will take over from Acting District Attorney John M. Ryan who has been in charge since Richard A. Brown died in May earlier this year.
Brown, known for his traditional law-and-order policies, held the role since 1991 and the election was seen as a turning point for candidates such as Katz seeking criminal justice reform.
Katz’s smooth victory last night, however, painted a stark contrast from the battle she faced against Tiffany Cabán, a progressive candidate backed by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, in the June 25th Democratic primary. It took about six weeks, a manual recount and a court hearing before Katz was officially declared the winner.
Cabán had originally declared victory the night of the primary with a lead of more than 1,100 votes, but when affidavit and absentee ballots were counted, Katz jumped ahead by a mere 16 votes. The slim margin called for a weeks-long manual recount in which more than 90,000 ballots were sorted and recounted. At its completion, Katz came out as the winner by a 60 vote difference.
The BOE certified the recount results on July 29 and declared Katz winner. Cabán’s campaign launched a court battle to challenge dozens of ballots it said were wrongly invalidated. The judge’s decision only dropped Katz’s lead by 5 votes, prompting Cabán to concede in August.
This time, Katz celebrated her win at a victory party in Forest Hills the night of the election, last night.
Katz will step down as borough president in January and a special election for that job will take place within 45 days.
Several candidates have announced that they want the job, such as Council Members Costa Constantinides, Jimmy Van Bramer and Donovan Richards. Former Council Member Elizabeth Crowley and State Assemblywoman Alicia Hyndman are also vying for the position.
Voters last night also approved five new proposals that were on the ballot including ranked choice voting in primary and special elections; raising the number of members in the Civilian Complaint Review Board; increasing the minimum time from one to two years that elected and senior city officials are prohibited from serving as lobbyists following their departure from office; creating a “rainy day fund” for New York City’s government; and amending the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) to provide more notification of development plans to borough presidents and community boards.
Finally, Democrat Jumaane Williams beat out his Republican and Libertarian contenders to keep his seat as the city’s Public Advocate.
Williams took in nearly 78 percent of the vote with 563,138 ballots, while Republican Joseph Borelli took in about 20 percent with 144,429 ballots and Libertarian Devin Balkind took in just 2 percent with 14,524 ballots.
Katz will represent all of Queens. Even those who didn’t support her.
I’m so happy! I love Melinda.
Will Katz be handing out the new gift cards and Met’s tickets for those people arrested who show up for court starting January 2020 under DiBlasio’s new plan?
Katz will cater to the criminal elements and their lib supporters. Working class neighborhoods are officially screwed. She and DeBozo will now run the asylum. Crime is going up and there are more and more hopeless roaming the streets.
> Katz bad!
We get it. I’m not sure how “protect workers from unsafe work sites” is bad but ok.
Guest, the Republicans ran a placeholder this year, and he himself said HE was not going to actively campaign this summer. Who can get behind a candidate who apparently doesn’t want the job? Then the GOP substituted Murray, a Democrat, to run, and he lost by 50 points.
Katz knows Queens well and will be the first female DA for Queens. Yeah, the times are a changing — Hopefully for the good. She deserves the chance to do her job, so I’ll support her and criticize if warranted.
Katz is a person of zero integrity who goes with whichever way the wind is blowing. She will not protect law-abiding citizens or the defenseless. Unfortunately, she has given in to the social justice warrior class which cares little about justice for the victims of crime.
Is it 2013 already?
I’d rather have her than the criminals candidate – Tiffany Cabán.
Congrats to Katz! Good luck.
What a loss for law abiding citizens!
Lazy electorate gets the DA they deserve.
Oh the blockbusting and mayhem shall begin.
a Professional Politician jumping from public office to public office, now a primary Gold Card member of the ole corrupt Queens Democratic Club, she lacks moral authority and judgement, shacked up with Curtis Silwa bore him two children out of wedlock, won’t have enough time to raise her own kids now, just hand them off to the nanny. The corrupt Queens pol Donald Manes might have yoked himself years ago but the stench is still here, alive and well.
A lot of complaining here, but did you guys vote, did you campaign? It’s not WHO IS GOOD, it’s WHO CAMPAIGNS BETTER and fools more people… That’s what politicians do. People will vote for Cookie Monster if he was running against a Republican. NYers see D next to the name, they automatically think its their friend.. Sadly times are changing, neither dems nor reps are same as what they used to be.
We are screwed . It’s going to get uglier now.
She’s another friend to criminals. “Criminal justice reform = let them loose and too bad for the victims.” She has ZERO moral character.
> Criminal justice reform = let them loose and too bad for the victims
Ironically this is the most nuanced understanding Trump lovers can muster lol
(There’s no hashtags on this site)
this isn’t anything new. nyc has always been like this. criminals are an important demographic for Democrat vote support and are aggressively protected.
Ms Katz is just as underhanded as our current mayor. She sells out neighborhoods to high rise builders while she lives in the costly Forest Hills Gardens. When are people going to wake up?? I want to leave the crime rift, lawless neighborhood
When is the last time she practiced any kind of law?? I live in Queens – good luck to all of us.
She has never practiced law as far as I know. At least this time she did not need the help of the Corrupt Democratic machine to win.
She practiced law for 30 minutes out of law school, and was called out on it when she ran for nyc comptroller. Now she is a crime fighter hahahahaha.