By David Brand
Lumarie Maldonado Cruz defeated Wyatt Gibbons by more than 20 percentage points in the first contested Democracy primary for a Queens Civil Court judgeship in decades.
Maldonado Cruz, an attorney with the Character and Fitness Committee of the state Supreme Court Appellate Division, moved to Queens in April to run for the bench. She told The City she was inspired to start her campaign by U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
“AOC’s victory reminded me of my obligations to stand up for what is right,” Maldonado Cruz told The City last month. “Queens is the new frontier of empowering minorities and women and she reminded me of all of that.”
Maldonado Cruz received roughly 62 percent of the vote, while Gibbons, who was endorsed by the Queens County Democratic Party, garnered 37.45 percent.
She did not attend interviews with the Queens County Bar Association and the New York City Bar Association and was not approved or deemed qualified by the organizations. She did receive endorsements from a few elected officials, including State Sen. James Sanders Jr.
“For decades voters have been robbed of their right to choose who sits on the bench in our courthouses,” Sanders said earlier this month. “It’s time we support a candidate who is willing to break that cycle and return the courts back to the people. Lumarie Maldanado Cruz is that candidate and this is why I’m endorsing her for Civil Court Judge.”
Gibbons, a veteran attorney with an office in Kew Gardens, told the Eagle last month that he welcomed the challenge because it would enable him to prove he earned the position.
“I’m running a race and if I win it makes it that much more of an earned victory,” Gibbons said. “I don’t think being challenged is a bad thing. I’m happy to put my credentials up against anybody that wants to come by and challenge me.”
Gibbons lived in Queens nearly all his life, including during his time in the Queens District Attorney’s Office.
“I have done this for 30 years and I have done it well,” he said. “I have represented all my clients zealously. I am compassionate. I’ve been through every court in Queens County. I have nothing to hide.”