Harvey Dent joins race for Gotham DA
Assistant District Attorney Harvey Dent, taking advantage of political momentum after his initial prosecutions of corrupt GPD officers, announced his candidacy for Gotham DA at the infamous Krol Projects in crime-ridden East End.
"I say to Gotham today, we can make our city safe for families once again," Dent proclaimed on a cold, crisp day outside the most dangerous public housing project in the city. "With your help, I will fight with every available means against the alliance of corrupt cops and organized crime that has brought this great city to its knees," he continued. Dent named reported mob leader Sal Maroni as one of his chief targets if he is elected.
Dent's entry into the race has been called "the worst kept secret in Gotham" and was widely expected.
The Assistant DA's call for a show of support from Gotham citizens before he declared his candidacy succeeded in recent weeks, with signs, posters, and spontaneous events revealing strength for Dent in almost every neighborhood of the city.
The race for District Attorney now is set up as perhaps the most emotional campaign in recent Gotham history, observers said. Relations between Dent and the sitting District Attorney, Roger Garcetti, have been fraying almost since the moment Dent joined the District Attorney's office.
"Garcetti and Dent have been at each other's throats since day one," said one high-level official in City Hall. "Garcetti looks at Dent as a media-mad upstart, and Dent sees Garcetti as part of the old guard which has led Gotham into a tailspin of crime and corruption."
In the stark surroundings of the grim, concrete projects, Dent gave a classic stemwinder in the best Gotham tradition. He spoke without notes for over an hour, detailing his love for Gotham, describing the city's perilous situation today, and boasting of his ability to put an end to the city's "unholy alliance" of mob bosses and political officials. He returned, again and again, to the "network of crime, corruption, incompetence, and cowardice" which he claimed was devastating the city.
"The same people who are supposed to protect us are instead betraying us. Every cop that turns the other way for a little extra cash is betraying us. Every official more concerned with his own political future than the public safety is betraying us. And every district attorney too weak or too scared to really take on organized crime is betraying us," Dent said in a heated speech which was interrupted by applause 19 times.
District Attorney Roger Garcetti's election team was quick to fight back against Dent's portrait of their candidate as "too weak or too scared." Garcetti's campaign manager Jamison Starns called Dent's attack "an admission that Dent has no positive plan for Gotham. Dent is an angry man on a witch hunt to take down good cops to feed his lust for power," said Starns.
In his short time as Assistant District Attorney in Gotham, Dent has made a name for himself by investigating and charging Gotham police officials for corruption. Dent has won guilty verdicts for eleven Gotham police officers working in conjunction with GPD's Internal Affairs department.
But his latest investigation of corrupt cops went awry when a shootout during an attempted arrest left one cop dead, GPD officer Karl Breitup. Two citizens were also injured in the melee at Betty's House of Pies. Dent was promptly attacked by his political opponents after the "Pie-Die Incident," as it became known. "Dent was responsible for that man's death the first moment he decided to put lives at risk for a good video clip on the evening news," District Attorney Garcetti said at the time.
According to the polls, Dent is a controversial figure who gets strong marks for the ability to "get things done" even as equal numbers of Gotham voters wonder if Dent may be "dishonest or has something to hide."
Those negative feelings may ironically be the result of his past successes, which created enormous amounts of ill-will within the Gotham establishment.
Even at the peak of his success, Dent was often the target of backstage criticism by fellow prosecutors. Their most common criticism was that Dent was an overly zealous Torquemada who hungered for newspaper headlines. Dent can expect much more criticism as the campaign goes on, observers told The Times.
"Dent is going to take some serious dents before this one is over," said Gotham political consultant Walt DeFabrizio. "A lot of people are gunning for hiim."
Dent's announcement turns the campaign for DA into an official three-way race. District Attorney Roger Garcetti announced his candidacy two weeks ago. Victim's Advocate Foundation President Dana Worthington is also running for the spot.