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Democratic candidate concedes to end weeks-long NYC election dispute

By Clyde Hughes

Aug. 7 (UPI) -- Melinda Katz is officially the Democratic nominee in a New York City district attorney's race that was interrupted for weeks by a recount and court challenge.

Contender Tiffany Caban conceded the primary race Tuesday for Queens district attorney after a court review failed to substantially narrow Katz's margin of victory.

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Caban, a gay attorney running against a candidate supported by the Democratic Party establishment, had won the support of New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Democratic presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

Caban emerged in the June 25 primary with a slim lead over Katz, but fell behind after absentee ballots were counted and disputed ballots resolved. The margin triggered an automatic recount that lasted for two weeks. Caban, a former public defender who campaigned on decriminalizing sex work and not prosecuting low-level crimes, sued the Board of Elections to challenge scores of ballots on technical grounds.

New York State Supreme Court Judge John G. Ingram on Tuesday refused many of Caban's challenges, closing off her final avenue to win the election.

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"We may have scared [New York District Attorney] Cy Vance out of even running again," Caban said in a Twitter post. "And trust me -- we terrified the Democratic establishment.

Katz thanked Caban "for bringing closure to this long and hard-fought race."

As the Democratic candidate, Katz is expected to win election in November.

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