AOC’s backing boosts New York progressive in local Democratic primary

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Political newcomer Tiffany Caban, an rebel progressive Democrat endorsed by U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, led a nationally watched primary race for district legal professional in the New York City borough of Queens on Tuesday.

Queens District Attorney (D.A.) candidate Tiffany Caban attends the Queens District Attorney election evening in the Queens borough of New York City, New York, U.S., June 25, 2019. REUTERS/Jeenah Moon

Caban appeared headed for victory over six different Democrats on the poll for his or her occasion’s nomination, narrowly edging previous runner-up Melinda Katz, a longtime centrist who serves as president of the Queens borough.

With greater than 98 p.c of polling stations reporting, Caban drew almost 40 p.c of the vote, in response to unofficial returns posted on-line by New York City’s Board of Elections.

Katz was trailing towards an in depth second-place end, with not less than 38.2 p.c of the vote, the outcomes confirmed 2-1/2 hours after polls closed.

A victory by Caban would mark a recent sign of the rising energy of the progressive wing of the Democratic Party because it pushes a populist platform throughout the nation in the run as much as the 2020 presidential election.

It additionally would spotlight the political attraction that Ocasio-Cortez, identified by her initials, AOC, has cultivated since she upset a long-time incumbent Democrat in a primary race a yr in the past.

With Democrats outnumbering Republicans in Queens, the winner of Tuesday’s Democratic primary is predicted to simply defeat a Republican opponent in November’s common election.

Competition for the workplace has been uncharacteristically fierce since Richard A. Brown, who served as district legal professional for greater than 25 years, introduced his retirement in January. Brown died in May, a month earlier than his scheduled departure.

The primary race in the varied borough with working-class roots was seen as a litmus check for the attraction of progressive versus conventional candidates.

Caban, 31, a former public defender of Puerto Rican descent who identifies as queer, ran a grassroots marketing campaign, elevating funds from small money contributions.

She campaigned on deeply progressive views, particularly regarding legal justice reform, a focus of all of the candidates. She vowed to shut New York’s Rikers Island jail with out changing it, to decriminalize prostitution and to finish money bail for all legal offenses.

Her agenda gained her a number of high-profile endorsements, together with that of Ocasio-Cortez, whose congressional district contains parts of Queens. The 29-year-old congresswoman has emerged as a nationally influential progressive voice since she defeated a 10-term incumbent in a primary election final yr.

Caban additionally had the backing of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, each main progressives in the U.S. Senate and candidates for the Democratic nomination for president.

In distinction, Katz ran a marketing campaign with sturdy institutional help from highly effective local companies and politicians. She additionally earned the backing of the state’s governor, Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Reporting by Matthew Lavietes in New York; Additional reporting by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles; modifying by Darren Schuettler

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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