June 26, 2019 By Laura Hanrahan
As election results rolled in last night for the Queens District Attorney race, a stark contrast appeared between voters in eastern and western Queens.
Support for Tiffany Cabán, a 31-year-old queer Latina public defender, was overwhelmingly strong on the western side of the borough, particularly in Astoria, Long Island City and Ridgewood where political views have shifted heavily to the left in recent years.
By the end of the night, Cabán, a newcomer to politics, earned a small lead overall of 1,090 votes over Melinda Katz and declared victory shortly after 11 p.m. With close to 3,400 absentee ballots left to count in the election, Katz has not yet conceded, stating that every vote must be counted.
Last night’s results reaffirmed that longstanding elected officials, particularly in the rapidly gentrifying areas of western Queens, are at risk of being replaced by progressive newcomers looking to shake up the system.
Just last year, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a vocal supporter of Cabán, unseated decadeslong Congressman Joseph Crowley using a people-powered grassroots campaign.
The long-serving political leaders in these areas appear to have differing views from the majority of their constituents.
Assemblymember Catharine Nolan (District 37), who has represented Long Island City, as well as parts of Sunnyside and Ridgewood, for 35 years, endorsed Katz on Friday, stating that “we need someone with Melinda’s legal expertise and track record of public service in the DA’s office.”
As results came in, Nolan’s district had a clear preference for the democratic socialist candidate, with Cabán trouncing Katz with 4,658 votes to Katz’s 1,364.
Katz endorser Assembly Member Michael DenDekker (District 34), who has represented Woodside, Jackson Heights, and East Elmhurst for 11 years, saw similar clear support for the young public defender. Cabán received more than double the votes of Katz in DenDekker’s district.
“Western Queens came out in big numbers and voted in landslide proportions for Tiffany Cabán, demonstrating the power of the progressive left to win elections,” said Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer, who was the first Queens elected official to endorse Cabán. “It’s a devastating blow to the machine and the establishment and I believe you will see more progressive candidates in each cycle and that includes next year’s state legislative races.”
The election results not only show a disconnect between leaders and constituents, but illustrated a discernible split within the borough. In central Queens (District 28), Katz barely squeaked by to surpass Cabán in several areas, including Rego Park, Middle Village and Forest Hills, largely due competitor Gregory Lasak took home a sizeable number of votes.
However, in south eastern Queens, Katz was the clear favorite. The Borough President earned nearly triple the number of votes when compared to Cabán in Jamaica, St. Albans and Laurelton.
Council Member Rory Lancman dropped out of the DA race on Thursday, just five days before the election, wanting to avoid the risk of a vote split, similar to what was seen in central Queen, in the south eastern portion of the borough where support for both Katz and Lancman was high.
In her speech at last night’s campaign event, Cabán vowed to win over those who had not voted for her.
“Whether I earned your vote or not, I will work every day to earn your trust,” Cabán said. “Transforming the system will not be easy, it will not happen overnight, but I am ready. We are ready.”
The remaining absentee ballots are expected to be counted in the coming weeks, with Board of Elections officials saying a final tally may not be given until July 3. The winner of yesterday’s Democratic primary will be the overwhelming favorite in November’s general election against Republican candidate Daniel Kogan.
Last night, only 11 percent of registered Queens Democrats voted.
I love how they just stand there and block the crosswalk.
All the Democratic candidates were way more “liberal” or “progressive” than the former DA. Not much real difference in their positions either.
Unfortunately this local race morphed into a national symbol of the intra-party battle going on in the Democratic Party. And some local politicians used the race as an opportunity to seek revenge for endorsements received (or not received) in past elections.
We believe in equal justice under the law, right? So why do we elect Judges and DAs on party lines anyway? Party affiliation shouldn’t matter in the courtroom.
there was a huge difference in Katz’s and Caban’s platform, one of the reasons it was such a contentious rates. Type their names into google.
Looks like we are being outnumbered by the family members of convicted felons. They may be dumb but they can certainly procreate. Nothing left to do but raise the rent and hope for the best.
Outnumbered?? Where did you go to school? According to the math, Caban Won with 5 or 6% of the registered Democrats voting for her. 94% voters didn’t vote or voted against her.
Early voting will be in effect next year. Hopefully we’ll see better turnouts going forward.
Wow 29 dislikes . So making it easier for people to exercise their rights is a bad thing. Why vote at all then let’s just have a king and we can be his loyal servant .
i wonder of this woman can name the three branches of govt as well as aoc did.
Can you string together a legitimate criticism or is “give us laughs” really the best you can do?
The borough that was once defined by Archie Bunker, the irascible conservative of All in the Family fame is changing for the better. And I’m feeling good about it!
@Rafaela- Yes for the better when 1 in 8 registered voters turnout for for a primary. Sounds more in line with a collapse of a democratic society.
The borough was never defined by Archie Bunker or Mike Stivic for that matter. It was a TV show, get over it ya meathead.
My concern is that it is not clear if Caban will prosecute hard drug users. It sounds like she may let needle users live in tents in our parks like you currently see in San Francisco and Seattle. I can’t raise my kids in that environment.
Paul – You may want to consult Fox News on where you should move to (They’ll suggest meth mad Texas is my bet) after Caban throws open the doors to Rikers and gives all the newly released inmates Obama phones and EBT cards. I also saw Tucker Carlsons report on the homeless in tents in San Francisco and Seattle (The left coast). He said he and his crew were threatened by them but neglected to film it and he said they were shooting up inside the tents and neglected to film that too. I think they called the expose propaganda for the gullible.
I have to be honest with you. I travel quite frequently to SF for work. Have you been there within the past year? If not, you are NOT qualified to respond. The homeless problem there is out of control. I am not exaggerating when I tell you that there are drug deals out in the open, fighting in the streets, tents set up, and human poo and public urination everywhere. I can imagine not wanting to film them because the homeless I saw were extremely aggressive. I could not imagine living in SF and whenever I’m there I literally am pining to leave. So shut up about things you don’t know.
@SF- So you’re saying Tucker Carlson is a snowflake, afraid to go out and prove his story by doing his job and filming it, because he is afraid of aggressive homeless people.
SF’s homeless situation is not new. It’s been a huge issue for decades.
Ha! Well that’s one way to put it. Somehow I just don’t see Fox News or even other news outlets like CNN for that matter openly filming someone shooting up heroin with a needle on TV. If they did that, I bet you’d be the first snowflake crying for violation of privacy rights or something.
Get a clue-,TV News and news programs like the A&E program intervention have all shown drug addicts shooting up, its nothing new. Where have you been?
@david not going to belabor this thread any longer but I’ll end with this since you clearly don’t work in content production. If you’re referring to shows like “intervention” on A+E, those are heavily produced shows where all people who appear on camera have signed releases and consented to be there. Bringing a news camera into a tent and filming someone without consent to exploit their story for news purposes is a very different thing. Just stop trying to get the (extremely uninformed) last word in already.
Whatevs-Nothing is more heavily produced than a Fox News production period. You’re the one who obviously doesn’t work in the content of production or have an understanding of the law. There is no expectation of privacy in a tent set up on a public street.
You are missing the point. Nobody cares about Tucker Carlson or A&E. Did San Francisco implement a policy of not prosecuting crimes of poverty and recreational drug use? Are people now living on the streets and shooting up in public?
If you go to the Mission in San Francisco, you can clearly see that these policies have moved that city towards NYC Times Square early 1980s. We shouldn’t go back there.
Paul- I worked in Times Square in the 70’s and can assure you there was no shooting you in the streets. Maybe in a porno theatre or seedy bar bathroom. According to your post “not prosecuting crimes of poverty “is causing this homeless crisis.Is this the same reason for the homeless crisis in Mobile, Austin or Atlanta? A lack of a comprehensive psychiatric healthcare system addressing the needs of the vast majority of these people who are mentally ill? You believe being poor and mentally sick is the crime here?
@Paul- Your post comes off as offensive, if that was your goal congratulations. About 8.5 percent of U.S. non-incarcerated adults have a history of (Traumatic Brain Injury) TBI, and about 2 percent of the greater population is currently suffering from some sort of disability because of their injury.
In prisons, however, approximately 60 percent of adults have had at least one TBI—and even higher prevalence has been reported in some systems. These injuries, which can alter behavior, emotion and impulse control, can keep prisoners behind bars longer and increases the odds they will end up there again.
800 Thousand plus registered Democrats in Queens and only about 100,000 turnout….and Caban still only won by a hair and that’s only because Lasak pulled votes from Katz. Shame on you Queens Democrats. Congratulations Caban and good luck!
2020 is a Presidential primary too, so turnout should be higher next summer.
Well Western Queens you kicked out the old folks and those trying to make a long life here so you can welcome these new short term residents who are willing to over pay for apartments and business establishments and this is their thank you to you. So glad I have a second home in Nassau.
We’re glad, too!
What’s “this is their thank you to you?” “Their” is the oldies or the new people? Your rant is confusing.
It’s cute to see a person with TWO HOUSES complain about rising rents though lol.
I am so proud of Tiffany and of our community. Time we show these old gringos in office that we shall no longer be ignored or silenced.
The children and grandchildren of these “old gringos” are probably where the majority of Caban supporters and votes came from so I guess they did something right.
You proud of her lying in that crying photo op? That pristine white pantsuit and 600 dollar gold watch?
I hope you didn’t vote for the billionaire living in a gold tower with his name on it; otherwise you’d look like a total idiot!
He’s at least real and honest. She’s a lying sack of illegal. Just like most of the Dems.
Wait I’m sorry, how does a $600 watch equal $413 million in tax fraud?
>He’s at least real and honest
Honest about building The Great Wall?
Honest about hiring a special prosector to investigate Hillary Clinton?
Honest about his taxes, so he has to hide them from everyone?
Honest about repealing and replacing Obamacare?
Oh wait, those were all lies?! Hmm…
Queens needs to stop June Primaries. The number of voters coming out is ABYSMAL! 181! We had 650 ballots! Big win for Caban? Ah, no! Declaring herself the winner when it was too close to call?! Hubris! I didn’t vote for Caban NOR did I vote for Katz. If, IF Caban becomes the Democratic choice she would be well advised NOT to assume Katz supporters will automatically vote for her. I, personally, have nothing against young people being elected. The problem I have is anyone unfit for the job getting elected.
So the next time a politician wants to die, s/he better not do it in May because JUNE!
bxgrl – It had nothing to do with Richard Browns death. The primary date had been set almost a year ago.
Its called organization and making sure your supporters go out to vote. And these politicians are very selective and careful as to who they reach out when it comes to these low turn out races. They should all learn something from AOC and Caban.
Indeed. Only canvasser that showed their face at my door was a Caban representative about a month ago.
If AOC hadn’t endorsed anyone (didn’t she originally say she wouldn’t endorse anyone?), Cabán wouldn’t have had the huge influx of local and national funds, nor the endorsement of Sanders and Warren.
“Progressive West” aka transplant and out of town hipsters that won’t be here in a few years, but want to take over the culture of every neighborhood they invade.
Somewhat true. But on the other hand, these folks are the reason many developers, landlords and business owners are very happy when its comes to rentals, market values and spending costs to socialize.
TheR, what would you like to see happen? No new residents? No one is allowed to move in or out? Do you see a solution to this matter?
That’s a great point, there were no democrats in NYC until 2007
10% turnout is to blame.
TheR, I moved to Sunnyside a decade ago and will only leave my rent-stabilized apartment feet first (hopefully many years from now!). And I vote progressive. I agree that many of the younger transplants seem only temporarily lured in by fancy new developments — and then quickly leave the area when they become disillusioned. But it’s foolish to blame the shift in political sentiment on a handful of “out of town hipsters”. The change is happening because a) it’s the 21st century, and b) everything changes — it doesn’t stand still and it definitely doesn’t go backward.
To the three people who downvoted my comment: You just illustrated what I am referring to. You’re wallowing in some sort of nostalgic backlash rather than accepting the fact that times change. Move forward with the rest of us! Resistance is futile! The future looks bright!
That died in 2004, boomers are supposed to blame all their problems on millennials now. Ask your grandson.
Caban alienated blacks, and targeted very specific groups while Katz went after everyone especially Blacks.
Remember this election had 10% turnout, sad because nobody knows anuthing about candidates and to be honest people have more things to worry about than to come out and vote. Did you guys also get spammed by text messages.
A couple of points: 1) Y ou wouldn’t be carping about turnout if your intended (Katz?) had won. Then y ou’d be all “a win is a win”
2) “sad because nobody knows anuthing about candidates and to be honest people have more things to worry about than to come out and vote.” What? How can you have anything to say about any election if you’re excusing voter apathy?
Christ, you can’t even put together a sentence and your vote counts as much as mine? We are screwed.
Cabán campaigned as a “decarceral” prosecutor, promising to oppose the construction of new jails, end cash bail, decriminalize sex work, and put far fewer people in prison. Based on that alone what makes you conclude she “alienated blacks” when those are some key concerns in the Black community when it comes to justice inequalities and bias.
Tif Caban is the new Sheriff in town and beat back Melinda Katz, despite the endorsements of Guv Cuomo, Joe Crowley, Greg Meeks and a host of others it meant nothing, she won! New blood coming up grass-roots. Now time to get rid of Kathy Nolan, Jimmy Van Bramer and Michael Gianaris during the next election cycle – all phonies who inflitrated this progessive movement. They are afraid for their political futures. Now Tif Caban, go after the real power brokers corruptoids, money grubbers…. https://www.nydailynews.com/…/lawyers-controlled-queens-dems-party-30-years-artic…
Why don’t you just say let’s get rid of whitey. People will wake up soon.
Progressive to include all those who hate the USA but want every benefit it has to offer, your winning on low turnouts that will change soon.
According to Thomas Barnett,
Author of the book, The Pentagons New Map
He writes The voters Who vote for AOC and Cabán, have an avg IQ OF 90. That is so dumb to grasp anything; but intelligent enough to work. When I read that page of the book, that basically explains the downward spiral that’s taking place today.