History was made in the Manhattan District Attorney’s race Tuesday as Democrat Alvin Bragg became the first Black man elected to that office.
He defeated Republican opponent Thomas Kenniff.
Bragg was celebrating Tuesday night with supporters in Harlem, the community he calls home.
He told CBS2’s Aundrea Cline-Thomas he hopes to use his lived experience coupled with his 20-year career to inform his policies.
He told his supporters it felt like a full-circle moment, saying his life experience includes being stopped at gunpoint by police, having family members in and out of the system, and fighting for justice as the chief deputy attorney general in New York State and a federal prosecutor.
Bragg spoke about disparities in the criminal legal system, providing supports for those returning home from incarceration and providing resources for those with mental health illnesses and substance abuse issues.
He says his most important issue, however, is addressing gun violence and de-carcerating Rikers Island.
“We have been given a profound trust tonight. To whom much is given, much is required, and we’ve heard Mark talk about it, we’ve heard Brian talk about it, the fundamental role of a district attorney is to guarantee both fairness and safety. That is the trust that’s been given to me on the ballot, but given to all of us, that’s what we’ve worked for, to show the city and the country a model for pairing partnership, pairing fairness and safety into one.”
Current Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance called Bragg to congratulate him.
Bragg will only be the fourth Manhattan district attorney elected in the last 80 years, and he’s the first African-American in that role.