MANHATTAN — Alvin Bragg has been elected Manhattan’s first Black district attorney.
The 48-year-old Democrat easily defeated Republican Thomas Kenniff on Tuesday to join a wave of progressive, reform-minded prosecutors in several big U.S cities.
As district attorney, Bragg will take over an investigation of former President Donald Trump and his company that the office has been conducting.
After his win, Bragg noted he was likely the first Manhattan district Attorney to have a gun pointed at him by a police officer. He was he’ll use the experience in his new job.
Bragg spoke with PIX11 News Wednesday morning to discuss his win and what he issues he hopes to tackle while in office.
Current DA Cyrus Vance Jr. is retiring at the end of the year. Vance’s successor will be just the fourth-elected district attorney in Manhattan in the last 80 years. Frank Hogan, the namesake of the street where the office is located, served for 31 years. Robert Morgenthau was in office for 34 years, and Vance will leave after 12.
It’s one of the most high-profile prosecution jobs in the world, dramatized on TV’s “Law and Order” and “Blue Bloods.” The district attorney oversees a staff of 500 lawyers and has a budget of about $125 million.
Bragg, a former federal prosecutor, was the chief deputy state attorney general leading a special police-involved shooting investigation team.
The Manhattan district attorney is the top prosecutor in New York County. They are responsible for holding those who violate state and local laws accountable.
The Manhattan DA also shapes criminal justice policy, including reforms and crime prevention strategies.
With over two dozen units and bureaus ranging from child abuse and cybercrime to tax crimes, human trafficking and hate crimes, the district attorney has help from dozens of assistant district attorneys who handle investigations and prosecutions. There’s also an expansive office support staff that assists the assistant district attorneys in their work.