Democratic voters in Queens head to the polls today for the first competitive district attorney primary in decades, and the real estate industry is watching closely.
In particular, Democratic Socialist candidate Tiffany Cabán’s bid to become Queens DA has many in the industry worried, and Corcoran Group CEO Pamela Liebman sent an email to employees warning of the impact a “far-left” candidate could have on the firm’s business, Crain’s reported, citing a copy of the email that it obtained.
“Though the DA’s authority may not have a direct effect on the real estate business in Queens or the other boroughs, a far-left candidate’s election to this influential post sets a precedent that could severely stunt our business—in the borough and beyond,” the email says.
A Cabán victory would represent another milestone for the progressive wave that has swept the city and state in recent months, pushing Amazon to drop its plans for Long Island City and passing landmark rent stabilization legislation two weeks ago.
Liebman also contrasted the candidate unfavorably with front-runner and establishment favorite Melinda Katz, who has continued to rake in campaign donations from real estate interests as other candidates have disavowed it.
With six candidates in the running, the email notes that Cabán could win the primary with as little as a quarter of the vote. Cabán has been endorsed by prominent politicians such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. Katz, a career politician who represents the Queens machine, has picked up the endorsement of local leaders like Sen. Gregory Meeks as well as unions 32 BJ and 1199 SEIU.
“This is an extraordinarily consequential primary, and its outcome could have big implications on our business,” Liebman’s email concludes. [Crain’s] — Kevin Sun