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Melinda Katz Certified as Winner in Queens Democrat DA Race, But Now Court Battle Begins

The board said Melinda Katz beat public defender Tiffany Cabán by 60 votes, but Cabán's team says 100 votes were wrongly invalidated

What to Know

  • Melinda Katz was officially certified as the winner of the hotly contested Queens Democrat DA Race, but her opponent will fight it in court
  • The board said Katz beat public defender Tiffany Cabán by 60 votes, but Cabán's team says 100 votes were wrongly invalidated
  • The race that attracted an unusual amount of attention and became a proxy for the national push-and-pull among different Democratic factions

New York City's Board of Elections on Monday officially certified Queens Borough President Melinda Katz as the winner of the hotly contested Democratic primary for Queens district attorney, but her opponent said she would keep fighting in court.

The board said Katz beat public defender Tiffany Cabán by 60 votes. Cabán's campaign said it would be in court on Wednesday over more than 100 ballots that were invalidated but that the campaign said should be counted.

"Our campaign is fighting to protect Queens voters from being disenfranchised and allow their voices to be heard," campaign spokeswoman Monica Klein said in a statement. Klein called the certification a formality, since the legal challenge can't move forward until it happened.

Katz said the people of Queens had spoken.

"While it is everyone's right to avail themselves of the judicial process, I urge all participants in this hard-fought election to come together and join me in beginning the hard work of reforming the criminal justice system in Queens," she said in a statement.

The next court hearing is scheduled for July 31.

The race that attracted an unusual amount of attention and became a proxy for the national push-and-pull among different Democratic factions.

Presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders endorsed Cabán, a 31-year-old first-time candidate who vowed to prosecute and incarcerate far fewer people.

The support of moderate Democrats including Gov. Andrew Cuomo went to Katz, 53, a veteran city and state politician.

Cabán had a lead of 1,090 votes on election night, but Katz pulled ahead by 16 votes after absentee and affidavit ballots were counted.

The tiny margin required a manual a recount, which ended last week, a month after the June 25 primary, after a review of more than 90,000 votes

The primary winner is expected to easily win the general election in November. The former district attorney, Richard Brown, died in May.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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