By most accounts, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz is the establishment candidate in the crowded race for the borough's district attorney.
"I think I am my own woman, and I am going to be my own district attorney," Katz said.
In fact, on Thursday, she grabbed the endorsement of the powerful teachers union, the United Federation of Teachers (UFT).
Of course, that doesn't mean she is a shoe-in. Seven candidates will appear on the ballot in the Democratic primary, which means factions could split and anyone might win.
NY1 will host a live televised debate with the candidates June 11.
According to the latest campaign finance filings, Katz raised the most money during the latest period, leading some to say she is the favorite.
Contributions to the Queens DA Candidates:
Greg Lasak: $444,745
Mina Malik: $397,395
Tiffany Cabán: $256,673
Rory Lancman: $246,158
Jose Nieves: $69,648
Betty Lugo: $57,627
But the race is quickly becoming the old guard versus the new guard.
New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has backed Cabán, a 31-year-old public defender.
"We have a ton of volunteers — hundreds of volunteers — out knocking doors," she said.
According to the latest filing, Cabán received hundreds of individual donations, which her staff said was evidence of strong grassroots support. But a report from the website THE CITY found that staff members gave dozens of contributions and a lot of money came from outside of Queens.
"We're not getting these huge contributions. What we're seeing is working people and how working people contribute. They contribute whenever they can, however much that they can," Cabán said. "We're seeing donations not just from Queens residents, but also leading criminal justice reformers because they see this as a national movement."
Meanwhile, Lancman contends the race is his to win, and that it's much more than a two-way race.
"I don't know why anyone would handicap the race as having me as anything other than the one of the frontrunners," the Queens councilman said. "We have a borough-wide operation. We have been on the air for almost a month."
Regardless of who wins this race, it's clear new leadership is coming to the Queens district attorney's office for the first time in almost 30 years.
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