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Meet the candidates running for Westchester County district attorney in the Democratic primary

William Wagstaff, Susan Cacace running for Westchester Co. DA in Democratic primary
William Wagstaff, Susan Cacace running for Westchester Co. DA in Democratic primary 02:13

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- The bitter congressional primary between Rep. Jamaal Bowman and Westchester County Executive George Latimer has dominated the headlines, but on Primary Election Day, registered Democrats in Westchester County are also choosing a candidate for district attorney.

Early voting is underway. Primary Day is June 25.

William Wagstaff running to affect change

Civil rights attorney William Wagstaff, a new father, is now seeking a new job.

"I'm coming to this job with a perspective unique from anybody that was running in this race," he said.

He's running for Westchester County district attorney as a "fresh face" to affect change.

"You can actually reimagine the justice system because you're the policymaker," he said.

In his 20s, Wagstaff received probation for misdemeanor credit card fraud. When his punishment ended, he got a law degree and an MBA.

He's never worked in a prosecutor's office, but he said, "Having an MBA and understanding that we could utilize my business background, the ability to analyze data, to make prosecution decision, to make policy decisions and to figure out how do we prevent crime before it happens -- my education, I think, uniquely qualifies me as the best fit for this position."

Last week, a third candidate -- Adeel Mirza -- dropped out and endorsed Wagstaff.

Retiring DA Mimi Rocah endorses Susan Cacace

The biggest endorsement, from retiring District Attorney Mimi Rocah, has gone to Susan Cacace.

"I believe she did a good job, and I want to continue on her good work," Cacace said.

Cacace spent 34 years as a Westchester prosecutor and judge.

"I prosecuted abortion protesters in the early 1990s," she said.

She says deep experience matters in an office that handles 20,000 cases a year and wants a more proactive role for the DA's office investigators.

"My plan is to put more resources into the sex crimes unit ... put resources into the investigations division to tackle the opioid crisis and take the illegal guns off the streets," Cacace said.

Both candidates promise to tackle bias crimes and pursue alternatives to incarceration. The winner of the Democratic primary will face Republican John Sarcone in the November General Election.

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