The Selling of a Law-and-Order Liberal

Manhattan District Attorney candidate Richard Aborn, who has the backing of former police chief Bill Bratton, picked up the endorsement today of Assemblyman Danny O’Donnell, a leader in the LBGT community.

“When it comes to which person will crack down on crime while protecting civil liberties and defending progressive values, there is no one more qualified for Manhattan D.A. than Richard Aborn,” O’Donnell said in a public statement released by the campaign. “Whether it’s taking on the NRA on guns, investigating police misconduct, or ensuring equal access to justice, Richard has shown he never backs down from a fight.”

O’Donnell’s endorsement is an interesting one–essentially supporting a candidate for a law-and-order post on explicitly civil-libertarian, civil-rights grounds. Along with the backing of Bratton–the police commissioner, significantly, who fell out with Rudy Giuliani–it’s an effort to set Aborn apart as the liberal in the race.

(Asked for comment, campaign spokesman Blake Zeff said the campaign’s endorsements show Aborn “is both a recognized crimefighter and a strong progressive.”)

Earlier, Aborn announced he wanted an independent review of recent arrests in gay sex shops, which have been criticized as unfairly targeting gay men.

Leslie Crocker Snyder, who ran in 2005, has also steered left this time around, stating that she no longer supports the death penalty—in fact, she’s says she never really supported it that much in the first place.

Aborn pounced on Snyder’s shift as an “election year conversion.”

Also running in the race is Cyrus Vance, who is picking up much of the support from retiring incumbent, Robert Morgenthau.

The Selling of a Law-and-Order Liberal