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Eric Gonzalez wins DA Democratic primary, vows to continue predecessor’s progressive legacy

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He can finally drop the Acting!

Acting District Attorney Eric Gonzalez is now Kings County’s District Attorney, after blowing his rival Democratic crime fighters out of the water in Tuesday’s primary election that saw no Republicans compete for the seat in the deep-blue county.

Gonzalez was predicted to retain the seat as chief legal eagle — he received the most prominent endorsements, amassed the biggest war chest, and enjoyed the comfort of incumbency going into the election. But many still questioned whether he is a true reformer who would follow in the footsteps of his late-predecessor, Ken Thompson, a staunch advocate of overturning wrongful convictions.

But Gonzalez pledged to do just that in order to keep Brooklynites safe, and thanked voters for believing that he could carry on Thompson’s legacy.

“It’s my promise to each and every one of you, and to the people of Brooklyn, that I will never forget the principles that served to guide me for 23 years in the DA’s office … and served to guide how we are going to keep the people of Brooklyn safe and have true fairness in our criminal justice system,” Gonzalez said to loud applause at his Williamsburg victory party as his wife and three sons looked on. “This is an incredible moment for Brooklyn, for my family, and for all of us because we did this together, because each and every person in this room was instrumental in getting this job done. I’m honored by the trust that each and every one of you have put into my candidacy and into the belief that I could follow in the footsteps of our late, beloved Ken Thompson.”

The Brooklyn native — King’s County’s first Latino top prosecutor — bested fellow attorneys Anne Swern, Marc Fliedner, term-limited Councilman Vincent Gentile (D–Bay Ridge), Pat Gatling, and Ama Dwimoh in the race, securing more than 50 percent of the vote a little after 11 pm, according to data from the city’s Board of Elections. At press time, he received more than 74,000 votes after about 96 percent of ballots were counted.

Swern followed with a little more than 16,000 votes, while the four other competitors trailed behind her. Dwimoh got the fewest votes with just more than 10,000.

Gonzalez, who grew up in East New York and Williamsburg, became acting district attorney in October 2016 after Thompson tapped him to assume the position before he died from cancer.

The district attorney hopefuls held several heated debates leading up to election night, at which each vied to position him or herself as the most progressive prosecutor, promising criminal justice reform by eliminating cash bail, closing Rikers Island, and not prosecuting marijuana or turnstile-jumping cases.

But adopting positions similar to Gonzalez’s left little room for any of the acting district attorney’s rivals to win enough votes to oust him on election night.

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at jcuba@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.
Updated 3:33 pm, September 13, 2017
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Reasonable discourse

Henry Ford from Bay Ridge says:
Criminals are dancing in the streets tonight. Close jails, eliminate bail, let people pee all over the streets, let muggers jump turnstiles to rob victims in the subway. Get ready to live in East Chicago until enough people get mugged and come to their senses.
Sept. 13, 12:53 am
Jim from Cobble Hill says:
Come meet the new boss, same as the old boss.
Sept. 13, 8:06 am
Fingeling Van Gina from Brooklyn / Hootersberry Park NJ says:
Finally - a DA that progressive woman like I can be proud of! This man has worked himself up from the bottom! The son of immigrants, he could have been in a gang or selling tacos on the street, but no! He is the D ... A .... of BROOKLYN ?!!!!!! What ???!! Oh Yeah !!!!!
Sept. 13, 8:19 am
Bob Scott from Brooklyn Heights says:
"Progressive." Really?
Sept. 13, 8:39 am
SCR from Realityville says:
Smash ALL Ideological-purity!! This is without regard-to whether,it is spewed out by the Left-wing or the Right-wing?
We the"more rational,intellectually more mature,even more psychologically mature people"-DEMAND open-primaries,at least on the Local and State levels Now!!We should also work with other states,to eventually make open-primaries,a nationwide reality!! And remember,it is just as foolish to tolerate attempted political indoctrination,as it is to stand for-religious indoctrination!! Unless,you adhere,to either!!
Sept. 13, 9:35 am
Henry Ford from Bay Ridge says:
What? None of you jabronies are going to give me an award for my smart comment? You are all dumb.
Sept. 13, 10:16 am
Garth from Fort Greene says:
Did this guy win for promising to not follow to most laws? As we know, the competition was who would observe the least number of laws. Good for this guy. Laws are repressive. We're all progressive! I'm going to celbrate his victory by knocking over a Christopher Columbus statue.
Sept. 13, 10:50 am
Rufus Leaking from BH says:
If you don't prosecute, then you can point out that "crime is down" Neat Trick!
Sept. 13, 12:21 pm
HONEY Pooter from Williamsburg says:
So we're supposed to believe this old white man is a progressive?!?! He's establishment!!!
Sept. 13, 12:30 pm
Garth from Fort Greene says:
That's how progressives talk. The great Progressive Bill de Blasio claimed victory yesterday by promising to go after the status quo when his lop sided win shows he is the status quo. The progressive army, the Antifa, are real fascists, just cleverly calling themselves Anti-fa(cists).
Sept. 13, 1:29 pm
Morris from Mill Basin says:
I will kill anyone who doesn't like our District Attorney and gladly go to prison for the rest of my life to rid the city of you worthless scum, racist pieces of excrement who don't deserve to breathe for another minute.

Garth, you're first on my list. Say your prayers and prepare to meet your Maker.
Sept. 13, 4:45 pm
Morris from Mill Basin says:
(I'm working my way backwards to the top.)
Sept. 13, 4:46 pm
SCR from Realityville says:
I might have made such threats,against anyone I disagreed with,or personally strongly disliked-when I was raving DRUNK and about 21-YEARS OLD!! What's Morris from Mill Basin,excuse?
Sept. 13, 5:41 pm
Morris from Mill Basin says:
I'm a racist d-bag, thats my excuse!
Sept. 13, 8:09 pm
Charles from Bklyn says:
As I understand, the Brooklyn DA is still prosecuting a majority of marijuana possession arrests after his predessor stated he would not. Therefore, this promise is hollow, and he will lose the support of the community, the ability to make these communities safer, and eventually his job.
Sept. 14, 6:14 pm

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