Tiffany Cabán declares victory in Queens district attorney Democratic primary

Public defender Tiffany Cabán has declared victory in a tight Democratic primary race for Queens district attorney Tuesday night.

Cabán, a 31-year-old who has described herself as a queer Latina, was just over a percentage point ahead of Queens Borough President Melinda Katz with 98.6 percent of scanners reported, according to the Board of Elections’ unofficial results. Cabán led with about 33,800 votes or 39.6 percent of the vote and Katz, who was backed by the Queens Democratic Party, had about 32,700 votes, or 38.3 percent of the vote. 

Katz did not concede and about 3,400 paper ballots still needed to be counted, according to NY1.  

If Cabán holds her lead and is elected district attorney in November, she would be the first woman and openly queer Queens district attorney. The winner in November will fill the seat held by Richard Brown, who died in May after serving in the role for almost three decades.

Cabán ran a “people-powered campaign,” reminiscent of the campaign led by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, whose upset over Queens party leader Joe Crowley was almost exactly a year ago. Ocasio-Cortez endorsed Cabán, who campaigned for ending cash bail, decriminalizing sex work, not prosecuting subway farebeaters, closing Rikers Island and prosecuting corporate crimes.

Scroll down to learn more about Cabán.

She is a public defender

She has worked at the New York Country Defender Services and the Legal Aid Society. Cabán has “represented over a thousand indigent clients in cases ranging from turnstile jumping to homicide,” her campaign website says.

She grew up in Queens

Cabán was born in Richmond Hill to Puerto Rican parents. Her father was an elevator mechanic and her mother worked in childcare. She went to public elementary and middle schools and attended St. Francis Preparatory High School in Fresh Meadows.

She currently lives in Astoria.

She was the first in her family to graduate college

Cabán attended Pennsylvania State University, where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Crime, Law and Justice. She then graduated from New York Law School with a Juris Doctorate.

She ran for district attorney to give more people a ‘fair shot’

At her watch party Tuesday night at La Boom club in Woodside, Cabán said she ran because too many people “haven’t had a fair shot” in the system.

She was endorsed by several progressives

In addition to Ocasio-Cortez, Cabán received endorsements from Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. The Working Families Party and the New York City Democratic Socialist of America also endorsed Cabán, and she was backed by a number of local officials, including State Sens. Jessica Ramos, Mike Gianaris and Julia Salazar, State Assemb. Ron Kim and City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer.

She has two dogs

Cabán is a “proud mom of two rescue dogs, Natalie and Coltrane,” according to her campaign website. 

With Mark Chiusano