WESTCHESTER COUNTY, NY — June 17, 2020 — In 1964, Kenneth Keating, one of New York ’s United States senators, was up for re-election. Senator Keating had served one term and was considered a non-controversial and moderate Republican Senator earning the respect and endorsement for re-election of many of the prominent New York ’s newspapers including the New York Times. His opponent in 1964 was Robert F. Kennedy who had recently resigned as Attorney General. I bring this to your attention because of an ad that was run over and over again on local television. The ad simply displayed in rather stark black letters the following question: Who would make a great United States Senator? That was the entire substance of the ad. We didn’t have to be told it was a Kennedy ad, we all knew.
This year Democrats are faced with a choice for District Attorney for Westchester County as we prepare for a primary on June 23rd. If you are a voting Westchester Democrat you will see on your ballot the names of incumbent District Attorney Tony Scarpino and the challenger, a political newcomer and former federal prosecutor, Mimi Rocah. I ask all Democrats to ask themselves an analogous question to that posed in 1964: Who would make a great District Attorney?
For me, the answer is clear. Mimi Rocah, a former federal prosecutor, is a progressive, articulate, charismatic, and thoughtful candidate who is emotionally and intellectually invested in fighting for the values we all hold dear.
These are clearly extraordinary times. While we are suffering under a worldwide pandemic, we are also witness to a direct assault by The President and U.S. Attorney General Barr on our long-cherished ideals of a fair, impartial and non-partisan criminal justice system. To counter this obscene rise of cronyism and corruption, we needed an articulate and dynamic fighter to stand up for us and say enough! That’s exactly what Mimi Rocah has done. During the last year she has been a strong national voice against the lawlessness in Washington.
Now Ms. Rocah has offered to bring her extraordinary experience (16 years as a prosecutor), skills and work ethic to our Westchester County’s District Attorney’s Office. She has presented a thoughtful and progressive platform of reforms and innovations which are long overdue (mimirocahforda.com). Her initiatives include protecting workers who are denied sick leave, cracking down on COVID-19 related scams, getting guns off the street, addressing the opioid crisis, and the list goes on.
If you’re like me, you are not happy with the way things have gone over the past several years. The only truly bright spot has been the emergence of a whole group of bright young, exciting, fearless and charismatic leaders who are not afraid to take up the mantle of our democratic progressive values. Mimi Rocah is one such leader. The truth is that we cannot afford to be satisfied with the status quo. Extraordinary times demand extraordinary leaders. Who will make a great Westchester County District Attorney? Mimi Rocah will. That’s why I support her.
James Martorano Senior
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James Martorano, Sr., Esq. has been an attorney since 1974, a New York City Legal Aid Attorney since 1977 to the present, Yorktown Town Councilman from 1991-2011, Opinion Writer for Yorktown News from 2011 to the present, and father of two wonderful adult, young men.