UNTIL 2018, New York was behind the curve in terms of criminal justice reform. But spurred by grassroots activists, that year the state legislature surged to the forefront, creating a prosecutorial misconduct commission and initiating debate over the landmark bail reforms passed in early 2019.

The commission was later deemed unconstitutional (because of how its members would be chosen), and the bail reforms were scaled back earlier this year. One of the most vocal opponents of the new measures was Albany County District Attorney David Soares, who served as head of District Attorneys Association of New York, or DAASNY, from 2018 to 2019.

Now, Soares has a target on his back. First elected in 2004 as a promising criminal justice reformer who campaigned on opposition to the Rockefeller Drug Laws, Soares is now being challenged from the left by Albany defense attorney Matt Toporowski, a former prosecutor in Soares’s office.

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