Katz gains support of Queens County Democrats in district attorney’s race

Melinda Katz announced her campaign for Queens District Attorney.
Photo by Mark Hallum

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz picked up major support Monday when the Queens County Democratic Organization voted to endorse her campaign for District Attorney.

Katz’s coalition of support includes the New York Hotel Trades Council and over 300 community leaders who have endorsed her campaign.

“Queens County Democrats believe Melinda Katz will be District Attorney to deliver the reform our borough needs to address the inequalities in our criminal justice system,” Queens County Democratic Party Chairman Joe Crowley said. “Throughout her career, Melinda has fought for progressive values and she will advocate for justice for all as our next District Attorney.”

Katz launched her campaign in December to replace current District Attorney Richard Brown who has held the office since 1991. The 86-year-old announced in January he would not seek re-election.

“I am honored to have the support of strong Democratic leaders from across Queens County. With Trump’s administration advocating for bigoted legislation and racist immigration policies, we need to unite and fight for Democratic values at a local level,” Katz said. “It’s clear that Queens is ready for criminal justice reform, and I look forward to transforming the District Attorney’s office into a partner for justice for everyone who calls Queens home. From discovery reform to no bail for misdemeanors to protections for vulnerable communities to keeping our streets safe, I am committed to bringing the progressive reform we need to ensure that our criminal justice system works fairly and justly for all.”

The campaign of former New York State Supreme Court Judge Greg Lasak took umbrage with the endorsement. Lasak resigned from the bench in September to run for District Attorney, the office he worked in for 25 years rising to the ranks of Chief of Homicide and and Executive Assistant District Attorney for major Crimes.

“Today, Queens County insiders line up to support a career politician wholly unqualified to do the job she’s running for — and someone they can trust to avoid systematic changes to a broken system,” Lasak for District Attorney campaign manager Danny O’Halloran said. “Given the choice between Judge Lasak, an experienced prosecutor and judge who has actually jailed the guilty while securing freedom from the wrongfully convicted, and Katz, a term-limited politician who has never stepped foot in a criminal courtroom, the machine opted for the tried-and-failed status quo. Fortunately, reform-minded voters will make the choice that matters June 25th and we’re confident they’ll choose Judge Lasak.”

The third Democratic candidate in the race, City Councilman Rory Lancman, has not yet commented publicly on the endorsement. QNS reached out to his campaign and is awaiting a response.