W.F.P.’s Choice for the Gioia Seat; The Richard Aborn Juggernaut

Council candidate Jimmy van Bramer, who is running for the seat being vacated by Eric Gioia, told me that he

Council candidate Jimmy Van Bramer, who is running for the seat being vacated by Eric Gioia, told me that he was endorsed by the Working Families Party last night.

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Van Bramer, who was at City Hall for a rally to protest proposed cuts to public libraries, did not get the endorsement of the Queens County Democratic Organization. But he has been active in local politics for some time and is one of the leading candidates in that race.

A W.F.P. spokesman said earlier that they would be sending out a statement about which candidates they are endorsing in local council races.

In other W.F.P. news, the campaign of Manhattan DA candidate Richard Aborn just sent out a press release about his endorsement from the Working Families Party. Aborn is up against two better-established Democratic candidates—Leslie Crocker Snyder, who ran competitively in the last election against outgoing incumbent Robert Morgenthau, and Cyrus Vance, who is Morgenthau's man—but he is looking less and less like a plucky outsider with each passing week. Which, as I've noted before, is the idea.

Here's the announcement from Aborn:

The Working Families Party today announced it has endorsed Richard Aborn for Manhattan District Attorney, signaling that progressive activists, leaders, and voters, are uniting behind Aborn’s bold, fresh vision for the office. The Working Families Party nod is significant not only because it validates that Aborn is the progressive candidate in the race, but because the party has a considerable operation for getting out the vote.

"We can't just react to crime, we need to prevent it before it happens,” said Dan Cantor, Working Families Party Executive Director. “Richard Aborn has a vision of a progressive, proactive DA — one who works to keep guns off the streets, give at-risk youth alternatives to crime, and treat drug addiction as a public health problem by helping addicts get clean."

"Today marks a turning point in this campaign,” said Aborn campaign manager Michael Rabinowitz. “With the overwhelming majority of Democratic leaders, activists, and now the Working Families Party uniting behind Richard Aborn, Manhattan progressives appear to have found their candidate for DA."

The endorsement comes after the overwhelming vote of the party's New York City Coordinating Council. The WFP, which has thousands of members and supporters in Manhattan, received 17,156 votes in the borough for Barack Obama this past November on its ballot line, "Row E." In 2004, the WFP was heavily involved in the Albany DA's race, helping engineer a major upset, as a first-time progressive candidate defeated an incumbent on a platform of drug law reform.

The support for Aborn comes as he has cleaned up in the race for endorsements. Despite being a political newcomer – and the current DA reportedly lobbying officials and clubs to support another candidate — Aborn has picked up 14 endorsements by currently elected officials, while no other candidate has more than two. The first-time candidate and national gun control leader has also been endorsed by the most political clubs, Commissioner Bill Bratton, several former candidates in the race, and others (more complete list below).

Aborn has devoted his career to innovative ways of fighting crime the right way. He started his law enforcement career prosecuting violent felonies under Robert Morgenthau. He masterminded the Brady gun control bill — and became the NRA's worst enemy. He was a leader in the expansion of the use of DNA evidence to both convict criminals and exonerate the innocent. As the managing partner of a law firm, he has supervised scores of attorneys. And his independent investigation of the NYPD took on police misconduct and brutality.

In recent weeks, Aborn has been also endorsed by former Police Commissioner Bill Bratton; State Senators Bill Perkins, Eric Schneiderman, Jose Serrano, Daniel Squadron, and Eric Adams (also the co-founder of the city-wide group, 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement Who Care); Assembly Members Jonathan Bing, Deborah Glick, Richard Gottfried, Brian Kavanagh, Daniel O’Donnell, and Linda Rosenthal; Councilmembers Gale Brewer, Miguel Martinez, and Melissa Mark Viverito; former DA candidates Catherine Abate and Richard Davis; long-time progressive voice Katrina vanden Heuvel; and numerous political clubs.

UPDATE: Here's the full list of W.F.P. endorsement.


W.F.P.’s Choice for the Gioia Seat; The Richard Aborn Juggernaut