- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 11, 2005

NEW YORK (AP) — How old is too old? And how long is too long?

In the case of 86-year-old Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau — in office since 1975 — the answers come tomorrow, when his re-election campaign goes to the voters in a Democratic primary.

For the first time in 20 years, Mr. Morgenthau faced a real challenger with a real chance to win — Leslie Crocker Snyder, 63, a no-nonsense former judge who raised the incumbent’s age and tenure as campaign issues.

“She has challenged him unlike any other challenger ever has,” said Hank Sheinkopf, a Democratic political consultant.

A mid-August poll by Quinnipiac University showed the favored Mr. Morgenthau with a commanding lead. Voters have returned him to office seven times; the primary winner is virtually guaranteed election in November.

“The DA for all ages looks as if he’ll be DA forever,” said Maurice Carroll, director of Quinnipiac’s polling center, when the numbers were released.

Mr. Morgenthau, who still rides a bicycle and works out on a treadmill, proved a feisty candidate. He made enthusiastic campaign appearances and raised a hefty war chest. For the first time in two decades, he ran television campaign ads.

Mrs. Snyder, with her own well-financed campaign, ran a series of pointed TV ads — including one that tweaked Mr. Morgenthau for refusing to debate her.

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