Tiffany Cabán hopes to become one of the most progressive district attorneys the United States has seen. And now, she’s one step closer. On Tuesday, June 25, 2019, the Democratic primary for the Queens district attorney race took place, and 31-year-old Cabán – a public defender – topped the polls with about 39.6% of the vote. While she declared victory, opponent Melinda Katz, who is currently in second with about 1,000 fewer votes, called for a recount.
If Cabán is declared the winner, she will face off against attorney Daniel Kogan, a Republican, on November 5, 2019 in the general election. However, she’s likely to defeat him, setting her up to become Queens’ first new district attorney in 28 years. If so, she’ll also make history as the youngest, first openly queer, first Latina, and first woman to hold the office in the county’s history.
Cabán built a grassroots campaign and garnered support for many outside of her borough. Several like-minded people and organizations endorsed her, including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Working Families Party, Real Justice PAC, and Victory Fund.
She ran on a platform to end mass incarceration. She vowed to prosecute less, meaning not trying cases that want to charge sex workers, recreational drug users, and others typically affected by racist laws. She also said she’d push against changing the standard for misdemeanors from probable cause to beyond a reasonable doubt, because this ends up affecting communities of color more harshly.
Cabán also proposed ending cash bail. “Cash bail penalizes people before they are judged guilty and creates two systems of justice – one for the wealthy, one for the poor,” her website reads. “As DA, Tiffany will pursue and invest resources in pretrial services that give people the tools they need to live and succeed.”
Much like AOC before her, Cabán has made people feel hope. So at her watch party at La Boom, the energized crowd broke out into cheers as she maintained her lead. A few hours after the polls closed, Cabán gave an emotional speech. “They said I was too young, they said I didn’t look like a district attorney, they said we couldn’t build a movement from the grass roots,” she said. “They said we could not win — but we did it y’all.”
As Katz called for a recount of paper ballots, Cabán followed up her statements with a few tweets.