Alvin Bragg was elected Manhattan district attorney on Tuesday and will become the first Black person to lead the influential office, which handles tens of thousands of cases a year and is conducting a high-profile investigation into former President Donald J. Trump and his family business, reports the New York Times.
Bragg, 48, a former federal prosecutor who campaigned on a pledge to balance public safety with fairness for all defendants, beat out seven other Denocrats for the nomination earlier this year and will succeed Cyrus R. Vance Jr., a Democrat who did not seek re-election.
Bragg had been heavily favored to prevail over his Republican opponent,Thomas Kenniff, given that Democrats vastly outnumber Republicans in the borough.
He will take over an office that continues to disproportionately prosecute Black defendants, and Bragg throughout his campaign has drawn on his personal experiences growing up in New York to illustrate the types of changes he wishes to make. Bragg has said he would show leniency to defendants who commit low-level crimes and has emphasized the importance of accountability for the police and the office’s prosecutors. Bragg will be working in close partnership with a police department run by Eric Adams, who run the race for mayor on Tuesday night. Adams and Bragg have some policy disagreements — Adams, a former police officer, has called for the restoration of the department’s plainclothes anti-crime unit, which Bragg opposes.