Get to know former AG Robert Abrams
Jan 27, 2016 | 5338 views | 0 0 comments | 232 232 recommendations | email to a friend | print
We ran this mystery photo from our archives last week, and our trusty historian, Jeff Gottlieb of the Central Queens Historical Association, was once again able to fill in some of the details.

In addition to the obvious detail that that is former Governor Mario Cuomo seated at the table likely signing a piece of legislation into law, Gottlieb wrote that the man standing on the far left is Robert Abrams, who was elected attorney general in 1978 and served for three terms until 1983.

He was the first Democrat elected to the post in 40 years, and one of his notable opponents was Peter King, his Republican opponent in 1986. King is, of course, currently an outspoken and prominent Republican member of Congress representing parts of Long Island.

Abrams was also a member of the Assembly from 1966 to 1969, and he served as Bronx borough president from 1970 to 1978.

Abrams also ran for the United State Senate in 1992, winning a Democratic Primary that featured Congresswoman Geraldine Ferraro, Reverend Al Sharpton and then-city comptroller Elizabeth Holtzman. (How’s that for a list of candidates!)

The race was so bitter and heated, Ferraro refused to endorse Abrams in the general election against Republican Al D’Amato until just a few days before voters went to the polls. Abrams also came under fire in that race for calling D’Amato a fascist. Abrams narrowly lost the race.

Also in the photo, standing right behind Cuomo (third from right), is former Queens assemblyman Ivan Lafayette. The Brooklyn-educated Lafayette represented Jackson Heights from 1977 to 2008, when he decided not to seek re-election.

If you think you recognize any of the other folks in this relic from the bygone days of New York State politics, drop us a line at polposition@queensledger.com.
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