While his experience does not include criminal prosecution, Francis McQuade, the Republican candidate for Nassau County district attorney, said he believes his unorthodox resumé could be beneficial for the county.
He is opposing Madeline Singas, the Democratic incumbent, in her race for re-election.
After spending time as a police officer and associate pastor, McQuade has been the sole proprietor of his own law firm in Long Beach and Brentwood since 1997.
Additionally, McQuade, a resident of Long Beach, has experience with immigration law.
“I believe that my varied and unique experiences allow me to have a broad and unbiased vision of where to meet people in the middle,” he said in a sitdown interview with Blank Slate Media. “My approach would be a different approach than what we’ve had in many years.”
McQuade said that what he lacks in substantive and practical experience, he makes up for in varying experiences that have taught him to be “wise and patient, which is what a good district attorney should be.”
According to McQuade, representatives from the Republican Party approached him to run. He touted his lack of affiliation with the town and county, specifically within the district attorney’s office.
Asked why he would be a better district attorney than Singas, McQuade cited some of her policy views, such as being “pro-choice” on abortion, as “extremist.”
He also recalled Singas’ comments during a Prosecutors Against Gun Violence coalition meeting last November. According to him, Singas said, “Enough thoughts and prayers, it is time for action.”
“She’s advocating legislation that is certainly not in the purview of the district attorney,” McQuade said.
He said that he supports universal background checks and a ban on retail sales of assault weapons, saying that they “seem to be excessive, especially in the wrong hands.”
When asked about the Eric Garner case, in which a 43-year-old African-American man died after a New York City police officer put him in a chokehold, McQuade said, “From all of the information I heard on it and read about it, no, I do not believe the officer should have been fired.”
McQuade claimed that Singas has set up an internal structures that pit prosecutors and police officers against each other.
He also said that some prosecutors in her office “do not accept police written information.”
“I don’t want it to seem like I am in an ideological pigeonhole saying police are good and the prosecutors are bad,” McQuade said. “But it comes down to a question of degree for certain cases.”
McQuade said he would not make too many changes in the district attorney’s office, but would perform “due diligence” to make sure everyone working there is properly qualified.
“I’m not looking to gut the office, and I think [Singas] has done an excellent job of implementing and maintaining a sound working infrastructure,” he said. “Not to say I would keep it exactly the same. I would make sure everyone currently there has earned to remain there if I was elected.”