It may be time to revise the leader board in the race for Brooklyn District attorney. According to a recent poll of nearly 800 registered Democrats in Brooklyn, Acting-DA Eric Gonzalez remains out front, but with only 19 percent support. The current front-runner is “Undecided,” at 42 percent.
Equally surprising is that the next two contenders behind Gonzalez are Vincent Gentile (14 percent) and Marc Fliedner (10 percent). Meanwhile, Patricia Gatling (7 percent) and Ama Dwimoh (6 percent) appear to be negating each other’s appeal to the borough’s Black voters (as both campaigns feared). And despite her strong fundraising and support from Assemblywoman JoAnne Simon and other elected officials, Anne Swern checks in at only 3 percent.
The telephone poll was conducted earlier this month by one of the bottom three candidates. City Limits has reviewed the data and found no notable demographic problems. This reporter was also among those polled.
Given Gonzalez’s significant war chest and ability as the officeholder to make headlines, it’s still his race to lose. But a recent endorsement from the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association doesn’t exactly burnish Gonzalez’s credentials as a reformer. Similarly, in the wake of a City Limits report on donations he received from the bail bond industry, Gonzalez returned the dubious money earlier this month.
One of Gonzalez’s campaign mailers featured a somewhat surprising plug from Judge Jonathan Lippman. Last month, Lippman, along with Borough President Eric Adams and Norman Siegel, called for a statewide panel to review wrongful convictions, which seemed to knock Gonzalez’s handling of Brooklyn’s Conviction Review Unit. However, Lippman tells City Limits that his call was “in no way a criticism of Acting DA Gonzalez, whose work on wrongful convictions I greatly admire.”
The wild card in the race appears to be Fliedner, whose grassroots campaign has been endorsed by several Bernie Sanders-aligned groups. Fliedner, who prosecuted the Peter Liang case, says that Gonzalez’s recent endorsement from the PBA makes “it impossible to have confidence that he will hold police accountable for acts of misconduct.”
Still to come are endorsements from the Big Three papers, which could put Gonzalez over the top—or lift one of the other contenders from the pack.