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Manhattan DA Cy Vance Not Running For Re-Election

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Three-term Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance is not running for re-election. This opens the office to a newcomer, and the race to succeed him is already packed; CBS2's Dick Brennan reports.

Video Transcript

MAURICE DUBOIS: The three-term Manhattan district attorney Cy Vance is not running for reelection.

KRISTINE JOHNSON: And this opens the office to a newcomer, and the race to succeed him is already packed. CBS 2's Dick Brennan here in studio with more on that now. Dick?

DICK BRENNAN: Well, Kristine and Maurice, Cy Vance is only one of four DAs to serve in this office in, get this, nearly 80 years. And the other names are Dewey, Hogan, and Morgenthau. Now, he leaves as his office is investigating former President Donald Trump.

Cy Vance has decided that three terms as Manhattan DA is enough. In a statement, he said, "I never imagined myself as a district attorney for decades like my predecessors."

CYRUS VANCE: In the interest of justice--

DICK BRENNAN: His decision to walk away from the job was widely expected. He's been serving since 2010.

DANIEL ALONSO: He focused the resources of the office on crime prevention in a way that really hadn't been the office's mantra previously.

DICK BRENNAN: Daniel Alonso was Chief Assistant District Attorney in the Manhattan DA's office during Vance's first term.

DANIEL ALONSO: He wanted to use every tool in the toolbox to try to reduce crime on the street.

DICK BRENNAN: But Vance will be leaving right in the middle of perhaps what would be his most high-profile case, a potential criminal prosecution of former President Trump concerning his businesses. He recently got the tax returns of Mr. Trump after the former president had fought turning them over.

DANIEL ALONSO: The investigation is a very serious one. It's a very complex one. It requires somebody who understands the complexity of these investigations, understands all the various issues and nuances, and understands that you really have to look at this matter professionally and not politically.

DICK BRENNAN: Vance successfully prosecuted Harvey Weinstein last year, but critics say he had the chance to do it much sooner in 2015 and didn't. He was also criticized over the failed case against Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former head of the International Monetary Fund, who was accused of sexual assault. The office will now get a new chief, and political experts say, perhaps a leftward shift.

HANK SHEINKOPF: It's quite logical that the office might move to the left. Why? Well that seems to be the cry at the moment.

DICK BRENNAN: Eight lesser-known candidates are vying in the June Democratic primary, and it's not clear who the front-runner might be.

HANK SHEINKOPF: There are hundreds of candidates for all kinds of offices this year, from mayor all the way down to city council. It's likely in the DA's race, where you have so many candidates, that someone will break through, but it's going to be a while away.

DICK BRENNAN: Now, those candidates will likely promise to be tough on Mr. Trump. He got just 14% of the Manhattan vote back on November 3, Election Day. The winner of this primary in June is virtually assured to hold the office. It's been held by a Democrat since 1942. Kristine and Maurice?

MAURICE DUBOIS: All right, Dick, thank you.

KRISTINE JOHNSON: Thank you, Dick.