Alvin Bragg pulls ahead in tight Manhattan DA race

Alvin Bragg.
Courtesy of his campaign

Alvin Bragg pulled ahead with a comfortable lead in the Democratic primary to become Manhattan’s next district attorney Tuesday, June 22, according to preliminary vote counts.

Bragg, a lifelong Harlemite and former prosecutor for the State Attorney General, gained 33.84% of the vote with 71,947 ballots cast for him out of 212,617 total in the eight-way race to become Manhattan’s next top prosecutor, giving him a lead over former federal prosecutor Tali Farhadian Weinstein, who got 30.42% of the vote with 64,682 ballots cast, according with 98.44% of precincts reporting, according to the Board of Elections Wednesday morning.

“To whom much is given, much is required. We have been given a profound responsibility,” Bragg told a crowd of supporters at the Cecil Steakhouse in Harlem. “The responsibility for the safety of Manhattan, the responsibility for the fair administration of justice in Manhattan.”

The Tuesday night tally only includes in-person votes and 27,682 absentee ballots remain to be counted by BOE in the coming weeks, which could still sway the race as Bragg holds a 7,265-vote lead over Farhadian Weinstein.

Alvin Bragg addressed his supporters at The Cecil Steakhouse in Harlem on Tuesday night.Photo by Kevin Duggan

In a statement early Wednesday morning, Farhadian Weinstein declined to concede, citing thousands of ballots that remain to be tallied. 

“We all knew going into today that this race was not going to be decided tonight and it has not been. We are down about 3.9% with tens of thousands of ballots from today and about 50,000 absentee ballots left to be counted. And so we have to be patient,” she said. 

In third place came Tahanie Aboushi, a progressive who had the backing of US Senator Bernie Sanders, with 11.31% and 24,044 votes. 

Unlike the city elections, the Manhattan DA’s race does not have ranked-choice voting, because district attorneys are state elected offices. 

In heavily-blue Manhattan, the Democratic primary’s winner is likely to sail to victory against the sole Republican candidate, Thomas Kenniff, in the November general election.

Bragg, who is poised to succeed incumbent DA Cyrus Vance as Manhattan’s top prosecutor, served as a chief deputy attorney general for the state where he oversaw cases including suing disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein.

He previously led a unit that investigated police killings of unarmed civilians and he told the New York Times — whose endorsement he got — that he would reform the prominent law enforcement office while balancing civil rights with public safety. 

He gained the New York Times’s endorsement and succeeded over Farhadian Weinstein, a former federal prosecutor married to a hedge fund manager.

The next Manhattan DA will be tasked with overseeing the ongoing investigation into former President Donald Trump along with a district rich in white-collar crime cases. 

Farhadian Weinstein, a well-heeled former federal prosecutor and wife of hedge fund manager Boaz Weinstein, gained attention after she poured a staggering $8.2 million of her own personal wealth into her campaign in the home stretch of the race, and when ProPublica reported that she paid almost no federal income taxes in four recent years.

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