Tiffany Caban appeared to prevail in the Democratic primary for Queens District Attorney Tuesday night, with an election night preliminary lead of just over 1,000 votes out a total of approximately 85,000 reported. Those election night results will be finalized and paper ballots (absentee and affidavit ballots) counted with a final result expected next week, but it appears likely that Caban’s lead over Queens Borough President Melinda Katz will hold.
Caban’s insurgent candidacy and apparent victory over a candidate supported by much of New York’s and Queens’ Democratic establishment drew support from a small but active group of elected officials. Those electeds include NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer, NYS Senators Jessica Ramos, Mike Gianaris, James Sanders, Luis Sepulveda and Julia Salazar, NYS Assembly Members Yuh-line Niou and Ron Kim and NYC Council Members Jimmy Van Bramer and Brad Lander, all of whom joined Caban on primary night. Other New York supporters included Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Cynthia Nixon. Caban was also endorsed by U.S. Senators and current presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders.
Queens district attorney candidate Tiffany Caban held a GOTV rally Sunday, two days ahead of the hotly contested Democratic primary. Caban is one of seven candidates on the ballot (although one of the seven has stopped campaigning and endorsed rival Melinda Katz). The rally, held in Travers Park in Jackson Heights, was organized by NYS Senator Jessica Ramos. Caban was also joined by a large group of endorsers and supporters, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, NYS Senators Mike Gianaris and Luis Sepulveda, Council Members Jimmy Van Bramer and Brad Lander, NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer and activist/former candidate Cynthia Nixon.
Council Members held a City Hall press conference in support of schools chancellor Richard Carranza. Members participating included I. Daneek Miller, Andy King, Robert Cornegy, Brad Lander, Antonio Reynoso and Adrienne Adams.
Following the city council’s stated meeting this afternoon, Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito answered questions from the press. Among the topics: whether there was political retribution against some council members who did not support her speaker bid, rules reform and the “lulu” system of additional payments to council members and her view of Governor Cuomo’s recent pre-K proposal.
Update – Cuomo Pre-K Proposal:
I asked Speaker Mark-Viverito whether Governor Cuomo’s recent proposal for a state-wide pre-K program, seemingly intended to supplant Mayor de Blasio’s proposed program and especially it’s income tax surcharge, would be unacceptable. Here’s how she responded.
We spoke this afternoon with Council Member/speaker contender Melissa Mark-Viverito concerning media coverage of her candidacy. A significant amount of media attention on Mark-Viverito has been less than flattering and some, such as yesterday’s New York Post story on a woman who claims that Mark-Viverito placed a hex on her, has been odd. We spoke at the ceremonial swearing in of Council Member Helen Rosenthal.
Update – Public Forums:
We spoke with Council Member Carlos Menchaca about the role of the seven public speaker candidate forums. Menchaca was one of the four newly-elected council members who conceived and organized the forums.
Update #2 – Predictions & Solidarity:
We spoke with Council Members Carlos Menchaca, Ydanis Rodriguez and Brad Lander, as well as Melissa Mark-Viverito, about the state of the council speaker race with three days to go.
Solidarity, In Song:
Finally, a brief excerpt from the performance of the New York City Labor Chorus at the inauguration ceremony of Council Member Helen Rosenthal.
Last night the City Council Speaker forum series moved to Brooklyn, picking up a seventh contender with Council Member Jumaane Williams joining in.
After the forum we spoke with Council Member Brad Lander. Lander is a leading member of the “progessive bloc”, a group of approximately 20 progressive council members who plan to unite behind a single, but as yet undetermined, candidate. We discussed the forums and their role in an election with only 51 voters, what the progressive bloc seeks, how the selection will unfold and whether the progressive bloc is likely to hold together behind a single candidate.
Update – Carlos Menchaca:
We also spoke with Council Member-elect Carlos Menchaca about the forums and the selection process. Menchaca is a newly elected member of the City Council who, along with fellow newly elected members Helen Rosenthal, Ritchie Torres and Antonio Reynoso, conceived and organized the public forums.