Career prosecutor Alvin Bragg emerged Friday as the likely next Manhattan district attorney, poised to lead the office’s case against the Trump Organization, after the second-place vote-getter conceded the race.
The move by Tali Farhadian Weinstein, which came when she saw the absentee ballot count wasn’t going her way, put Bragg in the position to become the first Black person to serve as Manhattan DA.
“We did it! We made history. Wow,” Bragg, who previously served as chief deputy attorney general for New York State, tweeted Friday afternoon.
We did it! We made history. Wow.— Alvin Bragg (@AlvinBraggNYC) July 2, 2021
Thanks to the thousands of Manhattanites who came together to say in one clear voice that #JusticeCantWait. I promise that I will never stop working to fight every day for fairness and safety. #JusticeForAll https://t.co/mM6dbf6D6d
Unlike the many still undecided races for offices from City Council to City Hall, the competition to replace current DA Cy Vance didn’t involve the new ranked choice voting system, since district attorney slots are state offices.
Bragg ended the June 22 primary with 33.8% of the vote to Farhadian Weinstein’s 30.4% in the eight-candidate competition for the Democratic nomination. That amounted to a 7,000-vote lead.
The party nod is considered akin to a general election victory in an overwhelmingly Democratic borough. Bragg will face Republican Thomas Kenniff in November for the post made famous beyond New York by three decades of “Law & Order.”
Trump Case Looms
Bragg positioned himself as a reform-minded prosecutor with the managerial experience to handle the office’s 1,500 employees as well as complex and high-profile cases.
Among them: the investigation of former President Donald Trump’s family business, which was the subject of indictments Thursday.
If elected, Bragg will also have to contend with rising gun violence across the city as New York emerges from the pandemic.
Bragg faced a stiff challenge from
Weinstein, 45, the former general counsel to the Brooklyn District Attorney who used $8.2 million of her personal fortune to boost her campaign’s profile late in the race.
In a statement Friday afternoon, Farhadian Weinstein said she called to congratulate Bragg. “We had important disagreements throughout the campaign, but I am confident in Alvin’s commitment to justice, and I stand ready to support him,” she said.
The competition to replace three-term DA Vance, who decided not to seek re-election, was marked by several candidates who ran on progressive platforms. Some vowed to radically overhaul the office by cutting its budget, shaking up staff and declining to prosecute certain types of crimes.
Farhadian Weinstein, who once clerked for Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and only registered as a Democrat in late 2017 after years as an independent, was among the more moderate contenders.
‘Safety and Fairness’
Bragg fell somewhere in the middle of the pack ideologically.
He’s laid out a plan to dissolve and replace the DA’s current sex crimes unit and has published a list of charges he will not prosecute — including turnstile jumping and resisting arrest. He has also vowed to target hate crimes, financial fraud and public corruption.
While a career prosecutor, he made clear he’d come at the job differently than Vance and his predecessor Robert Morgenthau, who served for nearly 50 years combined.
After polls closed on June 22, Bragg told supporters he’d use the office to help both crime victims and the unfairly prosecuted.
“To jail someone is a profound power. I have exercised that power before and I can tell you, there were some nights I could not sleep,” he said. “We will use it judiciously. We will govern collectively and we will use it for both safety and fairness in Manhattan.”