Brown Wins 5th Consecutive Term As Queens DA
Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown won a fifth consecutive term yesterday, scoring an uncontested victory on an election day that was marked by a very light turnout because the DA race was the only major office on the off-year election ballot.
Other contests on the ballot were for three state Supreme Court and three Civil Court seats all of which, according to early returns, were swept by the Democratic candidates.
Winning 14-year terms were Denis J. Butler, son of the former assemblymember; Kenneth Holder and Steven Paynter. All three moved from Civil Court judge positions.
They defeated Republican- Conservative candidates Theodore Stamos, Kerry Katsorhis and Joseph Kasper. Vote totals were not available by the time the Gazette went to press after the polls closed at 9 p.m.
The newly elected Civil Court judges were Rudy Greco of Jackson Heights and Cheree Biggs of Queens Village, neither of whom was opposed in the balloting.
In the third Civil Court judge contest, William Viscovich of Whitestone, defeated Republican- Conservative Robert Beltrani of Bayside. The vote count was not available for this contest, either. The new judges won 10-year terms.
Brown started his career as a county prosecutor in 1991 when he was appointed by then Governor Mario M. Cuomo to replace John J. Santucci, who resigned on June 1, 1991.
Brown won his first election to a fouryear term the following November and has been serving without interruption since then, becoming the second longestserving Queens DA since Benjamin Downey held the post from 1865 to 1883.
On Apr. 25, 2009, Brown will surpass Downey's record for longevity by serving for 18 years, 10 months and 25 consecutive days.
Prior to becoming Queens DA, Brown, now 75 years old, served as a judge and in other government positions in a career spanning 45 years. In winning yesterday's election, Brown ran as a Democrat with Republican and Conservative Party support.
Brown heads an office where 300 attorneys handle an average of 64,000 cases each year. In the process, Brown has compiled a record that reduced crime in the borough to its lowest levels in almost 50 years. He has significantly reduced auto thefts, and supervises a domestic violence program that is copied by other district attorneys' offices throughout the United States.
Before the election Brown said he has set his sights in this fifth term on "maintaining the gains we have made" and improving them still further to best serve the people of Queens.
Brown and his wife, Rhoda, lifelong Forest Hills residents, have three children.