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DA Candidates Invited to Speak at NAACP Meeting

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NAACP of Broome and Tioga invited the candidates for Broome County District Attorney to their monthly meeting.

District attorney candidates Debra Gelson and Michael Korchak took center stage as the local chapter of the NAACP focused on the issues of the district attorney's office...

Debra Gelson, running for District Attorney for the Democratic Party, said "It is critical that the next district attorney has those social justice initiatives... Non-violent offenders are going to be released... But they are still going to have mental health, domestic violence... And housing issues... And I'm the person they can collaborate and pull all those faculties and organizations together..."

Michael Korchak, who is running independently for District Attorney, said "What I wanted to do was work for the district attorney's office to get justice for victims and get equal justice for all people... That's what it is if you look at the scales on the top of the courthouse... The woman holding the scales is blindfolded and there is a reason for that... The reason is that it's supposed to be equal justice for all..."

The NAACP prepared questions related to incarceration alternatives, how to treat mental health, and investigating deaths in the jail system.

Korchak also said, "The solution to any problem is early intervention and education and that is what we've been doing at the district attorney's office..."

Gelson responded "With all due respect the situation that problems occur before going to jail... It's racial profiling on the street... And the way we have to look at that is whether or not minorities of color are getting pulled over for random reasons and that they are being arrested so we need to move before that..."

The third candidate, Paul Battisti, was unable to attend due to a family obligation.