Progressive Powerhouses Endorse Wagstaff For District Attorney


New York State Senators Jamaal T. Bailey, Nathalia Fernandez, and Assemblymember Dana Levenberg Endorse William Wagstaff For Westchester District Attorney

White Plains, NY—Westchester County District Attorney candidate William O. Wagstaff III announced endorsements from State Senator Jamaal T. Bailey, State Senator Nathalia Fernandez, and Assemblymember Dana Levenberg, boosting campaign support on the day of the Westchester County Democratic Party’s Nomination Convention. This comes on the heels of recent endorsements from Assemblymember Chris Burdick, the Mayor of the City of Peekskill, Vivian C. McKenzie, and the Westchester County Board of Legislators Majority Leader Tyrae Woodson-Samuels, along with a 100% pro-choice rating by Choice Matters.

Renowned civil rights and defense attorney William Wagstaff bolstered his frontrunner status as the Westchester County Democratic Committee is set to nominate one of three candidates in the heated DA race this evening.

“I have long advocated for significant criminal justice reforms and alternatives to incarceration while improving community relations and public safety. I must have government partners committed to this work and that is why I pledge my full support to William O. Wagstaff III for Westchester County District Attorney,” said Sen. Bailey (D-Westchester & The Bronx). “We need forward-thinking and innovative leadership that can understand that true public safety can only be achieved by coming together.”

“Sen. Bailey is THE voice in the State Senate leading the conversation on improving public safety while treating our communities with respect,” Wagstaff said. “I’m deeply appreciative of the Senator’s support as we deliver the real change that our justice system needs.”

Sen. Bailey, a leading criminal justice reform lawmaker, represents Mount Vernon, where Wagstaff serves as the city’s Special Prosecutor for Police Disciplinary Hearings, holding bad actors accountable while also supporting law enforcement.

The Mount Vernon native also serves as Special Counsel to Mount Vernon Mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard, who also endorsed Wagstaff for DA.

“I am pleased and honored to announce the first official endorsement of my candidacy for District Attorney, Mount Vernon Mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard,” said William Wagstaff. “It is a privilege to work with Mayor Patterson-Howard as her Special Counsel and Chair of her Judicial Appointments Committee, as well as to serve as the city’s Special Prosecutor for Police Discipline. Providing Mayor Patterson-Howard with advice and counsel on issues of public safety, decisions on who has the qualifications and judicial temperament to serve on the bench, and holding police accountable have provided invaluable insight that will aid me in setting policy for the DA’s office. It is an incredible honor to have the unwavering support of the Mayor of my hometown and humbling that she continues to place her trust in me.”

State Senator Nathalia Fernandez (D-Westchester & The Bronx) said in her endorsement, “William is a dynamic leader with a clear commitment to empowering a fair and robust justice system. His unique experience and record of work give me confidence in his ability to deliver justice and equity while working closely with our communities to enhance measures of public safety. I am supporting him for Westchester District Attorney.”

“I’m extremely grateful for Senator Fernandez’s support—she has successfully implemented significant criminal justice reforms and is a steadfast advocate for equity,” said Wagstaff.

New York State Assemblymember Dana Levenberg (D – Westchester) said, “I am proud to endorse William Wagstaff for Westchester County District Attorney. William truly understands the root causes of the criminal justice system’s challenges. His unique perspective and experience are exactly what is needed to improve our system in a proactive, rather than reactive, fashion.”  

Wagstaff replied, “I’m honored to be backed by Assemblymember Levenberg, a true champion for promoting restorative justice and advancing game-changing laws to make our county and state safer and fairer.”

Assemblymember Levenberg’s praise of Wagstaff’s unique experience highlights the respected attorney handling many of Westchester’s highest-profile civil rights cases.  

Wagstaff, who also holds an MBA from Fordham, plans to use a forward-thinking, data-driven approach “to make Westchester County safer with integrity, to proactively address gun violence, hate crimes, domestic violence, and property crime.”  

As the Westchester County Democratic Committee makes its nomination for the District Attorney candidate this evening ahead of the June Primary, Wagstaff said that “the status quo is failing us, and I have a track record unlike any other candidate in history to deliver real change instead of rhetoric to bring fair and equitable justice to every corner of the county.”  

Other candidates “are going to speak to a career of being a former prosecutor, people who are doing things the way they’ve always been done,” Wagstaff concluded. “My track record, immense financial support, and over 30 diverse endorsements reflect that I am poised to meet the moment and make the District Attorney’s office a vehicle for positive change.”

Wagstaff III’s campaign for Westchester District Attorney has gained diverse endorsements from prominent area Democrats, building a broad coalition of support, in addition to the aforementioned elected officials from the White Plains, Mount Vernon, Bedford, New Castle, and Lewisboro Democratic Committees, the entire Mount Vernon City Council, Mount Vernon Comptroller Darren Morton, County Legislators Jewel Williams-Johnson and Majority Leader Tyrae Woodson-Samuels, Peekskill Mayor Vivian McKenzie, Town Supervisors Ellen Calves (Bedford) and Tony Gonçalves (Lewisboro), Town Board Members Mary Shah (Lewisboro), Gina Jackson and Joy Haber (Greenburgh), Stephanie McCaine and Andrés Castillo (Bedford) as well as former Mount Vernon Mayor Ernie Davis, former County Legislator Alfreda Williams and former NYS Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson.

Wagstaff was also endorsed by the New York Working Families Party! As progressive champions for social, racial, and economic justice in our state, they recognize the ongoing challenges in our criminal justice system and the need for reform. 

“I am grateful to the Working Families Party for endorsing our campaign for Westchester County District Attorney. The WFP has a long history of advocating for policies that advance and protect the civil rights of working New Yorkers and Americans, not just the wealthy, and I’m proud to support that shared mission by delivering a fairer, stronger, and more equitable justice system as Westchester DA. I thank WFP for supporting our vision as we strive to build an equitable landscape upon which generational change can be built,” he added.

AJ Woodson
AJ Woodson
AJ Woodson is the Editor-In-Chief and co-owner of Black Westchester, Host & Producer of the People Before Politics Radio Show, An Author, Journalism Fellow (Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism), Rap Artist - one third of the legendary underground rap group JVC FORCE known for the single Strong Island, Radio Personality, Hip-Hop Historian, Documentarian, Activist, Criminal Justice Advocate and Freelance Journalist whose byline has appeared in several print publications and online sites including The Source, Vibe, the Village Voice, Upscale,,, Rolling Out Newspaper, Daily Challenge Newspaper, Spiritual Minded Magazine, Word Up! Magazine, On The Go Magazine and several others.

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