Thursday morning, incumbent Westchester County District Attorney Anthony Scarpino called challenger Mimi Rocah to concede the Democratic primary. Rocah, a Scarsdale resident, will run against Republican nominee Bruce Bendish in the general election in November.
In a statement, Scarpino said, “Today I called Mimi Rocah to congratulate her on winning the Democratic nomination for Westchester County District Attorney. I look forward to supporting her and Democrats up and down the ballot in November.
“It has been my distinct honor to serve as District Attorney and I am grateful to the people of Westchester for affording me the opportunity to do so since 2017. I am extraordinarily proud of the public servants in the District Attorney’s Office who dedicate every day to create a safer, more just County for all. I look forward to completing my term as District Attorney, a role which has been an integral part of my four decade-long career in service to the community that I love.”
With all districts reporting from early voting and in-person primary voting in June, Rocah had what seemed an insurmountable lead of 27,759 (68%) to 13,082 (32%) over incumbent Scarpino, but it was unclear how many absentee ballots needed to be counted for the race as there were at least 58,000 total ballots to be tallied.
According to a press release from the Rocah campaign Thursday afternoon, Rocah led the absentee ballot count at 38,530 (76%) to 12,279 with fewer than 20,000 left to be counted. Added to the initial tally, that put Rocah at 66,289 (72%) to 25,361.
Both candidates were getting unofficial results each night and over the last two days it became clear Rocah had won in a landslide.
“The lead has been growing by the day,” Rocah said. “Yesterday or the day before we passed an insurmountable threshold and our lead was more than the number of outstanding votes. It’s looked like victory for a while and became very clear… It is good to have it official.”
Rocah said her messages of seeking “change” and “accountability” resonated with voters across the county. “What I’m most proud of is it’s across the county — this isn’t just one area of the county powering the victory. Every city, town, village across the county we won. That’s pretty remarkable. Westchester is like a microcosm of the whole country. We have urban areas, rural areas, towns, villages, suburban areas.”
Rocah looks for a repeat Democratic victory over Bendish, whom Scarpino defeated in 2016.
“I’m going to stick to the message that I’ve had from Day 1 because I really do think that this is the message of the time,” Rocah said. “It’s about accountability, it’s about ethics reform. Think about what we’ve been missing in this country for the past three years. This isn’t just Democrats — there are many Republicans who agree we haven’t had ethics, we haven’t had accountability, we haven’t had vision, we haven’t had plans to help the most vulnerable. I’ve talked about environmental justice, working with labor groups in new ways, preventing gun violence. These are pretty universal themes and I’m going to stick largely with those.”
From 2001 to 2017, Rocah was assistant United States attorney in the Southern District of New York, where, according to her bio, she dealt with “the prosecution of organized crime, gun traffickers, corrupt public officials, narcotics dealers, sex traffickers, and child predators.” In 2011, U.S. Attorney Preet Bahara, under President Barack Obama, promoted Rocah to chief of the Westchester Division for the Department of Justice.
Since 2017, Rocah has been Pace University School of Law’s Distinguished Fellow in Criminal Justice and a legal analyst for MSNBC and NBC News. In Scarsdale, she was PTA School Safety chair and works with Moms Demand Action and My Sisters’ Place.