Cyrus Vance

Vance gains long shot challenger for Manhattan DA

Ed Reed / Mayoral Photography Office

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. has his first re-election challenger, with former Brooklyn Assistant District Attorney Marc Fliedner launching a write-in campaign for Vance’s post.

Vance, who has been in office since 2010, has come under scrutiny recently for a pair of investigations that were never brought to trial and the campaign contributions he received from players in the cases. The New Yorker, ProPublica and WNYC reported in a joint investigation that Vance’s office dropped an investigation into questionable real estate practices by Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr. after meeting with Donald Trump Sr.’s personal attorney Marc Kasowitz, who later made a $32,000 campaign donation to Vance. Kasowitz also made a $25,000 donation before the meeting, which Vance promptly returned before the two met.

RELATED: From Broken Windows to well-marked exits

And The New York Times reported that Vance’s office declined to bring charges after a 2015 sexual assault investigation into film producer Harvey Weinstein. Weinstein is a big donor to Democratic causes, and a lawyer he has employed, David Boies, has given thousands to Vance, including $10,000 in August 2015.

Vance has said that the evidence in both cases was insufficient to prove a crime. “None of the decisions revolved around campaign contributions at all,” he told the Times. He has since returned the contribution from Kasowitz, but not Boies, who Steve Sigmund, a spokesman for Vance’s campaign said had nothing to do with the sexual assault case, and was not representing Weinstein at the time. “We're confident that voters in Manhattan will continue to recognize [Vance's] record on November 7th,” Sigmund said.

Fliedner, a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, finished a distant third in the September primary for Brooklyn District Attorney, getting around 10 percent of the vote. He currently heads a private civil rights practice, and lives and works in Brooklyn, leading to questions about his eligibility for the Manhattan seat.

A request for comment from the New York City Board of Elections was not returned, but Fliedner said that, by his understanding, candidates must only be residents of New York City, not necessarily Manhattan. The Board of Elections tallies and counts all write-in candidates, no matter their residency. For example, “Barak Obama” got one write-in vote in the Brooklyn district attorney Democratic primary this year.

RELATED: Where are New York's corrupt politicians now?

“I am not in a position to mount a campaign complete with fundraising efforts and staff,” Fliedner said when reached by phone Wednesday. But he said he wanted to give Manhattan voters an option other than Vance.

“The expectation is that those who are interested in my candidacy will say ‘this is the kind of district attorney we’re looking for,’” he said.

The write-in campaign wasn’t Fliedner’s idea, but he agreed to it after the Twitter user known as @ShowUsYourWork encouraged him to run.

“Cyrus Vance is part of a grand tradition of corruption stretching back to Tammany Hall,” the user, who asked to remain anonymous, said. “This was a golden opportunity to oppose the machine politics that let Vance run unopposed.”

Vance is officially running unopposed, and his name will be alone on the ballot. But after information about the Trump and Weinstein cases was made public, some voters on social media have discussed other viable write-in candidates, including former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara. Bharara, who lives in Westchester County, would likely be ineligible to take the seat if he were to win.

But any candidate running a write-in campaign, especially one with Fliedner’s low name recognition, would be an extreme longshot against Vance, who has the advantages of incumbency, an endorsement from the Manhattan Democratic Party and more than $900,000 in campaign funds. 

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.