You are reading

Cabán Concedes to Katz in Queens DA Primary Race

Tiffany Cabán announced her concession Tuesday night at Katch in Astoria | Queens Post Photo

Aug. 7, 2019 By Allie Griffin

The fierce six-weeks-long battle between Public Defender Tiffany Cabán and Queens Borough President Melinda Katz has finally ended when Cabán conceded in the DA primary race Tuesday. 

After she failed to win back enough ballots to surpass Katz’s narrow lead in a court decision yesterday, Cabán announced her concession at Katch beer garden in Astoria last night to a crowd of about 150 people. The final margin separating the candidates was just 55 votes. 

State Sen. Mike Gianaris and Assembly Member Ron Kim were among the electeds at the party, a thank you event for her volunteers. From Katch’s back patio, Cabán made her concession announcement and admitted that she was a political newcomer up against the establishment favorite. 

“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.”

After the June 25 primary’s results came in, Cabán originally declared victory with more than 1,100 votes ahead of Katz, but when affidavit and absentee ballots were counted, Katz jumped ahead by a mere 16 votes. The slim margin called for a weeks-long manual recount in which more than 90,000 ballots were sorted and recounted. At its completion, Katz came out as the winner by a 60 vote difference. 

Then on July 29, the Board of Elections certified the results and declared Katz winner, but it wasn’t over yet. Next came the court battle with Cabán’s campaign challenging dozens of ballots that it said had been wrongly invalidated. 

On Tuesday, the judge presiding over the hearing reviewed the ballots in question at a Board of Elections office in Forest Hills, but with only a handful of votes revalidated — the final count gave Katz a 55 vote lead. Cabán then decided to concede rather than continue in court. 

“I want to thank Tiffany Cabán for bringing closure to this long and hard-fought race,” Katz said in a statement. “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.”

While Cabán may have lost, she was proud of what she had accomplished in pushing her party to adopt more liberal policies. 

“We completely transformed the conversation around criminal justice reform in this city. We forced the next District Attorney to end ALL cash bail,” Cabán said. “We pushed the decriminalization of sex work into the Presidential campaign.”

She added, “We may have scared Cy Vance out of even running again. And trust me—we terrified the Democratic establishment.”

The New York Working Families Party agreed. “Tiffany Caban transformed the debate on criminal justice reform, not just in Queens but across the city and country as well,” the party’s State Director Bill Lipton said in a statement. “She proved that progressive campaigns and the progressive movement can succeed across a borough as big and diverse as Queens, and that voters want fundamental changes to our justice system. We hope more courageous candidates like Tiffany run for office everywhere.”

While Lipton congratulated Katz, he critiqued the voting system. “This race also exposed how broken our election system remains,” he said. “Let’s be clear: eligible Queens voters were disenfranchised by the mistakes and incompetence of the BOE. We must enact reforms to ensure that every vote is counted.”

Cabán encouraged those she inspired to run and promised to help them along the way.

“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.”

email the author: [email protected]

22 Comments

Tyronne Fauntleroy

I’m thankful that I wont have to sell and leave just yet. Block busting has not become fashionable . The better candidate won.

1
1
Reply
Seriously, they love this sort of thing.

She should have ran where she’d be revered.

Bronx

6
1
Reply
Old as Dirt

a true example of “every vote counts” but of course Lipton states |”Queens voters were disenfranchised by the mistakes and incompetence of the BOE.” How? they beat this thing to death

7
14
Reply
Gardens Watcher

Lipton cries about the broken election system. Why didn’t Bill Lipton’s Working Families Party run their own primary and field their own candidate in Queens?

Here’s what’s broken: The WFP and the Democratic Socialists spend all their efforts criticizing the Democratic Party. Calling some voters “corporate Democrats,” whatever the hell that diss is supposed to mean. Yet they want to push their candidates and their extreme platform ideas from WITHIN the Democratic Party, both locally and nationally. It really should be called the Lipton Tea Party!

With the initial push from AOC, then from Sanders and Warren, this local race turned into a national story. And their candidate lost. So now it’s the fault of the election system. Really?

They can’t field their own candidate, and apparently can’t lose gracefully either.

6
11
Reply
Sara Ross

When is the last time Melinda worked on any legal matter? Has she been taking continuing legal education classes (as required by the NY Bar Associations)? I live in Queens and I’m scared for the borough.

12
23
Reply
Why does she need more experience than the president?

Are you saying Trump is a bad president because he has zero days experience?

11
2
Reply
jb

Caban would have been a tragedy. Katz is a mere travesty.
Problem with Katz is she f*ks over her constituency and abandons her present job while running for the next office. She will do it again when she runs for Mayor.

6
14
Reply
Gardens Watcher

I think she can multitask, and I don’t see evidence where’s she’s abused or abandoned her job in this race.

Lasak gave it a run, but was soundly defeated. Maybe time to retire?

2
1
Reply
CarlosMan

RAH!!! for Katz winning! We need an experienced DA, not Caban who would be doing on the job training and making lots of mistakes she admits: “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.” and b4 ya’all start yelling that is Caban’s comment about herself taken from the article

15
26
Reply
MARISSA

Right on Carlos – I dislike and could not stand the “queer latina”. She is another wanna be from sister hood of AOC .
Katz is good choice .

8
21
Reply
Why does she need more experience than the president?

Trump had zero days experience. You’re saying that makes him unfit for office??

17
5
Reply
I agree, Caban didn't need any experience

Hmm good question. Let’s review:

• He completely failed to repeal and replace Obamacare
• failed to get Mexico to pay for a wall
• begged Democrats for money during the Trump Shutdown, got nothing
• failed to establish a commission on radical Islam
• failed to cancel all funding of sanctuary cities
• failed to have mandatory minimum sentences for criminals caught trying to enter the United States illegally
• failed to end birthright citizenship
• failed to defund Planned Parenthood
• failed to invest $550 billion in infrastructure

…should I go on?

1
4
Reply
Flushing Skeptic

So run for Manhattan DA when that opens, or must you be a Manhattan resident?

2
4
Reply
Her time is up

Caban said that she may have scared the Manhattan District Attorney Vance out of running again. Wanna bet he runs again? She is so full of herself. If she was the best candidate, how come she lost? I know, I know, blame it on the BOE, the political machine, anyone and anything but herself. Truth is, she was divisive and irresponsible. Her theme was who she was, not about her qualifications, because she didn’t have the background or qualifications for the job.

17
11
Reply
Jim M

Though I am quite content with Katz’ win, a win by 55 votes is by no means anything to gloat about. Folks have been making that exceptionally clear since 2016. Joe Crowley was so sure of a win he didn’t even think campaigning was necessary.

3
8
Reply
Wolfsbane

I’m pretty sure it was the 55 people who voted for the other candidate who are to blame.

2
1
Reply
AlmadeCubano

Gotta love it when the Democratic Machine bends us over and steals an election. Remember when they did it last time? We got T. Rump.

17
12
Reply
No to Caban

Glad she lost. She only ran on her identity, as if that were enough. Her idea of reform was not to prosecute turnstile jumpers. What kind of message is that, that it’s okay to break the law? Where does that logic come from? She was uninformed and had no clear vision. Only resentment. It’s time for the “woke” crowd to wake up. You are not as pure as you think you are.

23
29
Reply
Wolfsbane

Maybe not getting paid would have strong armed the MTA into improving quality of service. Implementing handicapped accessible access at 100% of the stations. Something they’ve been ‘working on’ for the last 30 years. You’d think they’ve have completed it by now.

1
1
Reply

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News