After conceding defeat to challenger Ken Thompson, Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes has decided not to pack up his office just yet. He’ll campaign for a seventh term as the Republican and Conservative candidate.
Hynes, 78, won the Republican and Conservative nomination when running unopposed in the Sept. 10 primary while running simultaneously as a Democrat in a battle with Thompson, who pulled off an upset that few thought possible when the contest began as a three-way race. Abe George later dropped out of the race and threw his support to Thompson, a litigator and former federal prosecutor who won with 55 percent of the vote.
The New York Times reported that Hynes was convinced by supporters to resume his campaign, and he was also encouraged by Republican mayoral nominee Joseph Lhota, who needs to maximize GOP turnout on Election Day. Hynes supporters hope that larger turnout among voters of both parties will keep him in office, since only about a quarter of registered Democrats voted in the primary, and Hynes has better name recognition than Thompson.
He has been dogged in recent years, however, by reversed convictions and scrutiny of his handling of sexual abuse allegations among Orthodox Jews. Victims advocates accuse him of acceding to pressure not to aggressively pursue such cases even as chasidic and haredi leaders urge victims to vet allegations through rabbis rather than call the police. Hynes has also been roundly criticized for refusing to publicly name Orthodox suspects, claiming it would be too easy to link them to victims in Brooklyn’s close-knit Orthodox communities.
Orthodox Assemblyman Dov Hikind of Borough Park backed Thompson in the primary, while another Orthodox politician, David Greenfield, stuck with Hynes.
Mark Appel of Voice of Justice, a group that advocates for abuse victims and closely scrutinizes Hynes’ office called the DA’s decision “unprecedented. He conceded twice already. He must be under a lot of pressure from people around him.”
Appel said it was unlikely Hynes could pull off a win given that top Brooklyn Democrats will be actively supporting Thompson.