BY MAX PARROTT
After a primary campaign that attracted a national media frenzy and a month-and-a-half-long primary election, Melinda Katz clinched her role as the next Queens District Attorney with a victory against Joe Murray in the general election on Tuesday, Nov. 5.
Katz declared a 74.58% landslide victory shortly after the polls closed, while the city’s Board of Elections has Katz ahead with 137,632 votes compared to Murray’s 44,905 votes as of 10 a.m. the next morning with 95.92 percent of the precincts reporting.
“I will keep this borough safe. I will do it with collaboration with everyone in this room,” Katz said at her victory party in Forest Hills. “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 get the help that they actually need; that we have mental health programs to make sure recidivism does go down and we will make sure there is justice here in the borough of Queens.”
After Katz eked out her primary battle against the decarceral public defender Tiffany Cabán in a primary battle that involved a recount and court battle, she went on to win against Murray, an ex-cop, lawyer and registered Democrat who the Republicans nominated after the primary.
Her victory caps a campaign that argued for an approach to the office that blends a list of consensus-driven progressive reforms with experience of running a large city agency.
In fliers and appearances in the weeks before the general, Katz pledged to create a conviction integrity unit, end cash bail, refuse to prosecute low-level marijuana arrests, prosecute unscrupulous employers and work with community groups to end gun violence.
Katz emerged from her primary victory as the favorite to win in a borough-wide race where Democrats outnumber Republicans by almost six to one, and Katz had out-raised Murray by the about the same multiple.
A special election for the position of borough president will be held 45 days after Katz assumes the role of district attorney.