Katz takes 20-vote lead over Caban in Queens DA primary; recount triggered

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz has pulled ahead of public defender Tiffany Caban in the Democratic primary for Queens County district attorney—by just 20 votes.

The new vote tally followed a count of absentee and affidavit ballots on Wednesday, Politico New York reported.

The small margin automatically triggers a hand recount.

Caban, who had said the criminal justice system is rigged against poor New Yorkers and persons of color, had claimed victory on primary night (June 25) over several candidates with Katz in second place.

"Queens voters are inspired by Tiffany Caban's campaign and her vision for real criminal justice reform," Caban campaign spokesperson Monica Klein said in a statement. "If every valid paper ballot vote is counted, we are confident we will prevail."

Lawyers for Katz's and Caban 's campaigns are expected in court on Friday to make arguments over how the recount should proceed.

Caban's campaign is concerned about more than 2,000 affidavit ballots that the Board of Elections didn't count on Wednesday.

Katz, 53, is a veteran of New York politics and had endorsements from the governor and many unions. She has served in the state Assembly and City Council but never practiced criminal law.

Caban, 31, is a public defender and activist who garnered support from rising star Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who represents parts of Queens.

They are vying to replace former DA Richard Brown, who died in office ahead of his announced retirement.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.