Queens Republican DA Candidate Challenges Katz

Marla Diamond
November 04, 2019 - 9:03 am
New York City voters

Photo by Xinhua/Sipa USA


NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – A former NYPD officer and amateur boxer turned defense attorney has switched from the Democratic party to the Republican party to take on heavy favorite, Borough President Melinda Katz, in the race for Queens district attorney.

Joe Murray’s tough-on-crime platform is the exact opposite of Katz.

A Trump voter, the 55-year-old from Bellerose says he will prosecute fare evasion, sex work and marijuana possession, counting on working class voters to support him.

Murray says he would cooperate with ICE agents who want to make arrests in the Queens court houses and wants to keep Rikers Island open.

Katz has moved toward the left after a bruising primary battle with Tiffany Caban, in which she won by only 55 votes. Katz promises reduced prosecution for low-level non-violent offenses such as turnstile jumping, trespassing and smoking marijuana.

Murray is a criminal defense attorney, who has been a defendant himself. In 1993, he ended up in jail after he shattered an NYPD detective’s jaw in a station house brawl.

The last time a Republican won the district attorney's office in Queens was 1920 and Murray believes he can break that dry spell.