Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez won a decisive victory on Tuesday in a six-way Democratic primary, while only one of a slate of five “insurgent” candidates for Brooklyn Civil Court was able to capture a seat on the bench.
With nearly all precincts reporting, Gonzalez won 53 percent of almost 145,000 votes, according to the city Board of Elections.
Coming in second and third were former Brooklyn prosecutors Anne Swern and Marc Fliedner, who received 11.5 percent and 10.2 percent of the vote, respectively.
Patricia Gatling, also a former Brooklyn prosecutor who is of counsel to Windels Marx Lane & Mittendorf, took 9.3 percent of the vote; City Councilman Vincent Gentile, who previously worked for the Queens District Attorney’s Office, received 8.7 percent; and Ama Dwimoh, another former Brooklyn ADA who now works for the Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, received 7.2 percent.
Gonzalez faces no general election challengers. He was put in charge of the office last year after Kenneth Thompson, who took the office in 2013 after unseating longtime incumbent Charles Hynes, died unexpectedly from cancer before finishing his term.
While candidates for law-enforcement positions in most jurisdictions tend to emphasize their tough-on-crime bona fides, the candidates for Brooklyn DA spent more time in public forums discussing which low-level crimes they would decline to prosecute and reducing—or altogether eliminating—the use of cash bail.
Additionally, Gonzalez sparred throughout the campaign with the four former Brooklyn prosecutors over internal issues in the office and handling of individual cases and investigations.
During one heated exchange at the July candidate forum at St. Francis College in Brooklyn Heights, Gonzalez said Fliedner was the lead attorney in a case in which the conviction was eventually tossed out because Brady material wasn’t turned over to the defense.
Fliedner told the New York Daily News last week that he plans to sue Gonzalez for defamation over the remark. Fliedner did not respond to a message for comment on Wednesday.
In the 11-way primary election for five countywide seats on Brooklyn Civil Court, three of the five Democratic Party-backed candidates won seats.
They are incumbent Civil Court Judge Robin Sheares, who won 13 percent of 501,000 total votes cast; Consuelo Mallafre Melendez, principal law clerk to Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Marsha Steinhardt, who won 15 percent, the largest percentage of the candidates; and Patria Frias-Colón, who works for the New York City Law Department’s Family Court Division and received 10.6 percent.
Of the five candidates who ran on a platform challenging what they said is a judicial selection process controlled by Democratic Party bosses, Sandra Roper, a Brooklyn attorney who made a failed run for Brooklyn DA in 2001, won a seat. She received 9.8 percent of the votes.
Ellen Edwards, a criminal defense attorney who was not backed by the party and who did not cast her lot with the insurgents, was elected with 9.8 percent of votes. In her campaign literature, she called for the establishment of a night court for civil matters and sensitivity training for judges to foster a more “customer friendly” environment in the courts.