NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Queens Borough President Melinda Katz says she’s the winner of the hotly contested Democratic Primary for Queens District Attorney.
In an exclusive interview with CBS2 political reporter Marcia Kramer, Katz said now it’s time to get to work on the pressing issues facing the borough.
Katz lives in the same house she grew up in. Her parents bought it 75 years ago.
After the bruising primary, it was something of a relief to do something normal, like show off her favorite photos of the two men in her life, sons Carter and Hunter.
“I find that the greatest letting-my-hair-down days are those I spend just walking on a river with my kids,” Katz said.
For the past month, things have been topsy-turvy, a nightmare.
Even though Caban is vowing a court challenge, Katz is moving on, talking about when she takes office, not if.
She spoke about the citywide problem of stray bullets injuring innocent bystanders, a problem that has claimed several Queens residents.
“Gun traffickers who want to bring guns into our borough to sell to our children, Queens is closed for business,” she said.
Mayor Bill de Blasio says the answer is for the DAs to do more to take down gangs.
Kramer: “How do you feel about that? What’s your take on it? Is that the way to stop the stray bullet shootings?”
Katz: “People that bring guns into our district, into our borough and they sell them to our kids are criminals and they need to be prosecuted.”
She says it’s also about outreach to stop kids from joining gangs.
“You have to make sure that the gangs are not the family the people turn to,” Katz said.
Representing the most diverse county in the nation, she’s also committed to working to calm racial tensions and stop hate crimes by celebrating the 190 different ethnic groups in Queens.
“Diversity can be such an unbelievably great thing for our families,” Katz said.
During the campaign, Caban tried to paint Katz as the machine candidate and not a progressive. Katz says that’s ironic because she ran against the old boys club to win an Assembly seat. Once there, she stood up to power.
“I was the one who instituted the tolling of the statute of limitations for child sexual abuse. I took on the Roman Catholic church at the time when no one was talking about the fact that there was sexual abuse for children,” Katz said.
Katz says the diversity of the borough will be reflected in her office in the prosecutors and investigators she hires.
The Board of Elections is set to certify Katz’s victory next week.
Lawyers for Caban say they’re not giving up and will file one more court challenge on Aug. 6.