Did Seth Williams’s Top Assistant Resign to Run for D.A.?

After Williams announced he wouldn’t run for reelection, Tariq Karim El-Shabazz may be entering the Democratic primary race for district attorney.


Tariq Karim El-Shabazz, a longtime defense attorney who became District Attorney Seth Williams’s first assistant district attorney late last summer, resigned on Monday. But it’s what could come next that has people talking: El-Shabazz may be running for the office himself.

Since Williams announced late last week that he would not seek reelection, El-Shabazz has been rumored as a possible candidate for D.A. City & State reported over the weekend that El-Shabazz was considering declaring for the race as early as this week.

On Facebook on Monday, Mannwell Glenn, an activist and radio host said that El-Shabazz was running: “Tariq El Shabazz is jumping in and I’ll say it before anyone else does … he’ll be the front runner.”

El-Shabazz notified colleagues of his decision to resign in a email sent on Monday. “Just a brief note to let you, my friends and colleagues, know that it has been an honor to work with you for the past seven months,” he wrote. “After much thought and discussion with my family, friends and others; I have submitted my resignation as the First Assistant District Attorney to District Attorney Williams.”

El-Shabazz has so far declined to elaborate on his plans, but might this be a clue? The subject line of the email was “Change and Growth.”