Queens County Democratic Party Boss Joe Crowley yesterday threw his support behind Queens Borough President Melinda Katz to replace retiring District Attorney Richard Brown in the upcoming district attorney primary.
Meanwhile, freshman U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is remaining silent on the race, despite the far-left wing of the Democratic Party, the New York City Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) voting overwhelmingly to endorse public defender Tiffany Cabán.
“Queens County Democrats believe Melinda Katz will be the District Attorney to deliver the reform our borough needs to address inequalities in our criminal justice system,” said Crowley. “Throughout her career, Melinda has fought for our progressive values and she will advocate for justice for all as our next District Attorney.”
Crowley’s support lays a strong framework as with it comes the support of the Queens County Democratic Organization, which has over 300 community leaders and 72 Democratic District Leaders. Traditionally, the organization controls much of what happens in the petitioning process and on election day at the polls.
“I am honored to have the support of strong Democratic leaders from across Queens County. With Trump’s administration advocating for bigoted legislation and racist immigration policies, we need to unite and fight for our Democratic values at a local level,” said Katz. “From discovery reform to no bail for misdemeanors to protections for vulnerable communities to keeping our streets safe, I am committed to bringing the progressive reform we need to ensure that our criminal justice system works fairly and justly for all.”
But the DSA, who were bigtime supporters of Ocasio-Cortez in her recent upset vistory over Crowley in last years Congressional Democratic Primary, threw their support behind Cabán, saying her policies would be more transformative in terms of criminal justice reform.
“Queens voters have opened the doors for a new, democratic socialist vision of electoral politics. People are no longer content with out-of-touch politicians that ignore the working class. A Cabán victory will show that Queens is ready to throw out establishment politicians, close Rikers the right way, and invest in [the] community, not billion-dollar jails,” said Sasha Weinstein, of NYC-DSA’s Queens Electoral Organizing Committee.
NYC-DSA has over 5,000 members and activists throughout the city, and 75 percent voted in Cabán’s favor. Last month, Cabán received support from 93 percent of the Queens branch of DSA for a recommendation for an endorsement.
“I’m honored and thrilled that the NYC local of the Democratic Socialists of America has endorsed our campaign for transformative justice in Queens,” Cabán said. “DSA is a remarkable grassroots movement for change. Their support has already helped send visionary new leaders to Albany and Washington.”
While Ocasio-Cortez continues to work on a Green New Deal and call-out corporate interests politics in Washington D.C., she has remained mum on the Queens District Attorney race.
The Democratic Primary for District Attorney is slated for June 25.