Gloria Steinem Backs Cy Vance for Manhattan District Attorney


The race to replace Bob Morgenthau is turning into a catfight over who is friendlier to the prized demographic in the upcoming Democratic primary for D.A.: politically active women. Earlier this afternoon, the campaign of Cyrus Vance Jr. rolled out what might be their most unexpected endorsement to date: Gloria Steinem.

Getting Steinem to publicly endorse Vance was something of a coup for the Vance campaign, which has been pulled in different directions by Morgenthau, a cabal of powerful attorneys loyal to him, and several high-priced consultants. Initially, Steinem was hesitant to endorse Vance in a public way, a source says. She didn’t want her celebrity to be used to to diminish Leslie Crocker Snyder, who is running to be Manhattan’s first female district attorney. But after some pressure from the campaign, a sit-down with Vance, and a briefing on Snyder’s record, Steinem ultimately caved, the source says.

Vance was also endorsed by Caroline Kennedy and Betsy Gotbaum, though it’s unclear if any of these endorsements will translate into votes. Kennedy has her own political woes, though can raise Vance money, and Gotbaum is a lame duck. And while Steinem is a figure of considerable cultural heft, her political influence is less definite.