The race to succeed Morgenthau as Manhattan D.A.-- It is going to be brutal!
Legendary Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau, nearing age 90, announced last week he is retiring. Which means that in September we will have the first open primary for the Manhattan D.A.'s job (the most prestigious and high profile public prosecutor's job in the country) in decades. This is shaping up to be one hell of a brutal race.
In one corner you have Ms. Law and Order, former Judge Leslie Crocker Snyder, Morgenthau's primary opponent last time. She would appear to be the frontrunner. Crocker Snyder has even now seen the light and is now all of a sudden against the death penalty in all cases, whereas previously she had supported it in some instances. She has never stopped running for the job and her campaign is a well oiled machine.
The problem is that Morgenthau and most of his people can't stand her. Morgenthau will do everything in his power, pull every string and call in every favor he has, to prevent Crocker Snyder from becoming the new D.A. There are people who have spent their entire professional lives in the D.A.'s office, due to Morgenthau being there so long, and they fear Crocker Snyder getting in there and cleaning house. Therefore Morgenthau will do whatever it takes to prevent that, which is why this is shaping up as a brutal war of a primary.
Leslie Crocker Snyder's likely three opponents are:
1. Assistant D.A. Dan Castleman, Morgenthau's protege and likely handpicked succesor. If Castleman, with Morgenthau's presumed endorsement, wins, then most everyone else in the D.A.'s office gets to keep their jobs and things stay pretty much as they are. Everybody knows Morgenthau has delegated most of his authority as he has gotten older anyway. Castleman is the 'don't rock the boat' candidate.
2. Cy Vance Jr., another longtime prosecutor in Morganthau's office who would presumably would be the "rock the boat but only a little" candidate. He also would probably keep most of the Morgenthau regime in place.
3. Richard Aborn, head of the NYC Citizens Crime Commission, and yet another former Morgenthau Assistant D.A. He is not part of the current Morgenthau regime as he hasn't been in that office since the 70's and would qualify as the liberal outsider in the race.
There is little doubt that Morgenthau will do everything in his power to make sure that one of his three former D.A.'s, and preferably Castleman, gets the job. Crocker Synder will only get to be Manhattan D.A. over Morgenthau's dead body (figuratively speaking of course).
This should be a hell of a race. Can't wait to hear what Norm Siegel and others say about this race. So who do you think has the best chance?