NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Tiffany Cabán has called it quits after taking the Queens district attorney election to court.
Cabán told supporters on Tuesday night that her campaign was conceding the Democratic primary to Queens Borough President Melinda Katz after a judicial review of disputed ballots didn’t significantly alter Katz’s razor-thin lead in the tightly contested race.
“I am a 32-year-old queer Latina public defender. I don’t look like our politicians, I don’t sound like most of them. I’d never run a campaign before… I was the first in my family to go to college. I was the first to go to law school. Stages like this were not made for people like me. We built the spaces. We drove change… We completely transformed the conversation around criminal justice reform in this city. We forced the next District Attorney to end ALL cash bail. We pushed the decriminalization of sex work into the Presidential campaign… We may have scared Cy Vance out of even running again. And trust me—we terrified the Democratic establishment… We showed that you can run on a boldly decarceral platform. You don’t have to compromise your values or give in to fear mongering. You don’t have to play by the old rules… There is still so much work to be done here in Queens —and you better believe I’m going to keep fighting. We need to end solitary confinement, reform our parole system, repeal 50-A, and break the cycle of mass incarceration… We need to keep campaigning, electing and supporting people from our communities. Leaders who look like us—who come from our neighborhoods—who reflect our city… To every young person, to every woman, to every person of color, to every Queer person, every single human being who was inspired by the campaign we built—you are next. And I promise, I will be the first one knocking doors for you… This was always about more than one person or one campaign—this is about building a movement together. The organizing does not stop. And we’re just getting started,” Caban posted in a series of tweets.
“I want to thank Tiffany Cabán for bringing closure to this long and hard-fought race. Too often, the process of primary campaigns obscures the vast commonalities we share as Democrats and reformers. We all want a safe Queens where everyone is treated equally. From the beginning of this race, I have been committed to bringing fundamental change to the District Attorney’s office. With the horrors of this past weekend still in my mind, I believe we need to focus on reducing gun violence and put an end to the proliferation of hate crimes. I look forward to pressing ahead with my reform agenda as District Attorney, and I ask all Queens residents, regardless of whom they supported in this race, to join together to make our borough a model for successful, safe reform,” Katz said in a statement of her own.
The New York City Board of Elections declared Katz the official winner last week, but Cabán took the matter to court after claiming hundreds of ballots had been improperly excluded.
Many of those voters who had their ballots thrown out by officials were reportedly not registered Democrats, and therefore could not take part in a party primary.
A judge’s review didn’t significantly impact the final decision, leading to Cabán’s concession.
The primary fight for a spot in November’s election gained national attention. Cabán, a political newcomer, was endorsed by progressive freshman congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The 31-year-old first-time candidate vowed dramatically decrease the number of offenders prosecuted and sent to prison and even picked up support from presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders.
The 53-year-old Katz, a veteran politician who served as a member of the New York state Assembly and the New York City Council, was the choice of moderate Democrats, including Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)