From City Hall:
In the Bronx, the city's longest-serving district attorney, Robert Johnson, a 63-year-old Democrat, is reaching out to Republican and Conservative party leaders about running on their ballot lines. In Queens, District Attorney Richard Brown, 78, is hopeful that he too will again get the endorsements of all the major parties in a race in which no challengers have emerged. Even on Staten Island, which was the rare DA race to feature two candidates in the last election, the Democratic Party has yet to find a challenger to run against the incumbent, 54-year-old Dan Donovan.
So while the three incumbents are beginning the motions of running for re-election, the political questions are really mostly focused on whether Johnson and Brown are secretly plotting retirement while grooming hand-picked successors, who might be in position to succeed the prosecutors when they step down, and occasionally, on the thin but still swirling rumors about who might take on Donovan.
In Queens, "Judge" Richard Brown is already setting his sights beyond the upcoming election. He said he plans to match former Manhattan DA Robert Morgenthau's feat of serving until age 90.
"There's only about 15 years to go," said Brown, who has been in office since June 1991.
If Brown even comes close to Morgenthau's longevity, the field of potential successors will have to look elsewhere if they want to run for public office.
Council Member Peter Vallone, Jr., who has been subject to speculation about a DA run for years, said he is raising campaign funds, but would only consider running if the seat were vacant.
"I'm not even thinking of Judge Brown's office because he's there and he intends to hold that position for a long time," Vallone said. "So obviously I've got some other options to consider, such as borough president, and I'm looking into it."
Another potential successor, former Council Member Melinda Katz, said she had not thought that far in advance.