Could public defender Tiffany Cabán be this year’s version of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez?
The question gained some steam today after Cabán nabbed the Working Families Party (WFP) endorsement.
“As a public defender, a queer Latina, and a progressive champion, Tiffany Cabán is the leader we need as Queens District Attorney. For too long, the criminal justice system in our city has held people of color to one standard—and white New Yorkers to another. Cabán has charted a new path during her campaign, pledging to use the District Attorney’s office to fight for racial, social and economic justice,” said Working Families Party Executive Director Bill Lipton.
“The Working Families Party has been fighting hard to pass bail reform, legalize marijuana, and win speedy trials—and with Tiffany Cabán, we can continue this fight to build a justice system that works for all of us. The Working Families Party is proud to endorse Tiffany Cabán for Queens DA and our team will work tirelessly on the campaign trail to elect Cabán this year.”
In accepting the endorsement Cabán called the WFP a party that has always pushed political boundaries and fought to lift up issues of social and economic justice.
“Powered by grassroots activists, labor and community organizations, the WFP is fighting for a system that works for all of us—and not just the rich and privileged. I am proud to stand with the WFP and working families across New York, and look forward to working together to create a more just Queens,” she said.
Cabán also picked up the endorsement last week of the Real Justice Political Action Committee. The PAC is a grassroots organization that advocates for criminal reform and endorsed Cabán because of her approach to fixing the justice system.
“We’re excited to endorse @CabanForQueens for Queens District Attorney because she’s committed to ending mass incarceration, decriminalizing poverty, and treating addiction as a medical issue,” tweeted the Real Justice PAC.
Real Justice added that Cabán’s work with the local community was another factor in their decision.
The endorsements come as many political eyes in Queens are turning to the first competitive Queens DA race in 42 years with the coming retirement of longtime DA Richard Brown on June 1.
The last competitive race for the Queens District Attorney seat was 42 years ago in 1977 between state prosecutor Maurice Nadjari and former Councilman John Santucci (D-Manhattan).
Santucci won the race the following year and retired as a district attorney in 1991. Former Gov. Mario Cuomo then appointed Brown to his current seat that same year.
But since those heady days, Queens has been transformed into the most ethnically diverse county in the country. And while the WFP supported former Queens County Democratic Party boss Joe Crowley, AOC’s win against him as the incumbent congressman challenged the status quo, making the DA race all the more competitive.
And like AOC, Cabán is facing a tough challenge in Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, who has the backing of the Queens machine and new Democratic Party Chairman Gregory Meeks.
Several other candidates are also in the race, but the slate won’t be set in stone until April 4, when all candidates in the race must file 4,000 legitimate nominating petitions with the Board of Elections.
The primary is June 25.