Brooklyn District Attorney Charles J. Hynes will indeed run for re-election this November 5, but as a candidate with the Republican and Conservative parties.
The move comes following his defeat in the Democratic primary on September 10, to challenger Kenneth P. Thompson, who won 55 percent of the vote, amounting to 100,678 ballots cast in his favor, according to unofficial results from the city’s Board of Elections.
At that time, Hynes – who racked up 81,173 votes — had said, through campaign spokesperson George Arzt, that he “will not be [actively] campaigning” in the months leading up to November.
However, he changed his mind after receiving vocal support from Democratic and Republican supporters alike, said campaign spokesperson Jerry Schmetterer to the New York Times.
Hynes, 78, will make his intention official at a rally on the steps of Brooklyn Borough Hall on Tuesday, October 8.
The news was not well-received by some leaders in Brooklyn politics, including Frank Seddio, chairperson of the Kings County Democratic Committee.
“Ken Thompson won the primary fair and square. This is no time for Joe Hynes to turn his back on the Democratic Party. We profoundly regret his action after a long and distinguished career in public service,” Seddio said in a statement. “The cynical Republican-led effort to create an internecine feud among Democrats in the race for Brooklyn district attorney will end in failure. Brooklyn Democrats are 100 percent united behind our candidate Ken Thompson who will win in November.”
Previously, Jerry Kassar, chair of the Kings County Conservative Party, had told this paper that the party would actively work on Hynes’ behalf ahead of the general election on November 5.
“I believe the Republicans will, too,” he said on September 11. “We believe there’s a real constituency out there in the general election that wants to see him remain [as Brooklyn DA].”
Hynes is pursuing a seventh term as Brooklyn DA. Over the past two decades, he has worked to increase the lines of communication and trust between communities and the court system, by opening neighborhood offices, holding essay contests with schools, and creating neighborhood Youth Courts in Red Hook, Greenpoint and Brownsville. He has also fought recidivism and juvenile crime through an array of programs that he piloted.
In recent years, however, Hynes has been faced with concerns about wrongful convictions within the Brooklyn D.A.’s office and allegations that he did not adequately pursue allegations of sexual abuse in Brooklyn’s Orthodox Jewish community.