District Attorney Charles Hynes vs. Ken Thompson

Incumbent lawman resurrects himself as a Republican

The Brooklyn Paper
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He’s baaaaaack!

Brooklyn’s 23-year-incumbent district attorney — thought vanquished in the Sept. 10 Democratic primary — is making a shocking second coming as a Republican and Conservative candidate.

Charles “Joe” Hynes announced on Oct. 3 that he would resume his campaign against Dem nominee Ken Thompson, to whom the lawman had conceded on primary night. Hynes’s camp made the decision after realizing only 16 percent of Brooklyn’s Democrats voted in the race — and after hearing allegations that former Democratic Party boss Clarence Norman, who Hynes helped send up the river in 2005 for accepting illegal donations to his Assembly campaign, was steering Thompson’s campaign.

“He realizes that just a tiny amount of voters came out in that election, and he doesn’t believe he can stand by while someone who’s manipulated by Clarence Norman can run a District Attorney’s Office,” said Hynes’s new spokesman Jerry Schmetterer, who is on vacation from his regular job as director of public information at the district attorney’s office.

Schmetterer said Hynes raised $150,000 at a Bay Ridge fund-raiser on Oct. 2 — on top of the $24,000 the incumbent still had in the bank after primary night. Thompson had roughly $70,000 left over after Sept. 10, and a spokesman said the nominee has continued raising money in the weeks since.

Thompson’s camp adamantly denied that Norman had any role in the election effort, and blasted the incumbent for going back on his promise to concede and assist in the transition between administrations. The nonetheless predicted another Thompson victory.

“Clarence had absolutely nothing to do with the campaign,” said Thompson spokesman James Freedland, who predicted an easy victory in November. “It’s sad that Mr. Hynes refuses to accept the will of the people, as he repeatedly pledged to do last month. And we are confident all of Brooklyn’s voters will render the same overwhelming verdict as they did in the primary.”

Thompson beat Hynes by 18,000 votes, out of nearly 170,000 who participated in the primary — a margin of 10 percent.

The Thompson campaign said that Hynes has not been cooperative, as he had promised, in helping the primary victor transition into office in January.

A Republican Party source said that Hynes has had no conversations about campaigning on the party’s line with Kings County Republican chairman Craig Eaton. The GOP strategist speculated that state Sen. Marty Golden (R–Bay Ridge) may be the driving figure behind Hynes’s revival, suggesting that Golden was hoping to boost turnout for Republican candidates like hizzoner hopeful Joe Lhota and Council contender John Quaglione. But the party leader said that all three efforts are doomed.

“It makes no sense to me. It’s pure fantasy. None of these candidates is well-positioned to win,” said the Republican.

Golden denied being behind the change of plans, or having held or attended the fundraiser on Wednesday. But the senator — who said he learned of Hynes’s decision to run on Oct. 1 — praised the vanquished lawman for his 23 years of service, and predicted he would have a strong showing in November.

“I think it’s great he’ll be able to give a strong, two-party challenge,” said Golden. “His policies have made this one of the safest counties in the country, and I think people will take a second look at him.”

But on Sept. 10, Hynes himself said he did not believe he stood a chance on the other parties’ lines.

“I just don’t think it’s realistic,” Hynes said.

Reach reporter Will Bredderman at or by calling (718) 260-4507. Follow him
Updated 10:15 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

John Wasserman from Windsor Terrace says:
Well, let me be the 1st to say that there's a lot more to THIS story than meets the eye!
Oct. 3, 2013, 11:14 am
Ed from Bay Ridge says:
Like his Bay Ridge fundraiser?
Oct. 3, 2013, 11:20 am
So Bredderman from Can't You Pick Up a Phone? says:
Uh, this is little more than a rumor from a campaign, so far. I can't believe you think it's OK to print something like this without asking for verification from both camps! You couldn't get away with this shlock on a school paper!
Oct. 3, 2013, 12:26 pm
Bay Ridger from Bay Ridge says:
Please spare us the pain. These old chronies need to go.
Oct. 3, 2013, 1:48 pm
mmhmmm from downtown says:
He's 78 and originally said, and affirmed. that he wouldn't run as a Repub-Cons.

Why the Greenhouse fund raiser, who pressured him and who will his candidacy personally benefit, even for nonobvious reasons?
Oct. 3, 2013, 2:13 pm
Jamaliqua from New Lots says:
Hynes will win.

Few people came out to elect Thompson in the primary. On election day, when everyone comes out, votes will see:

1. Ken Thompson: (and think it's Bill Thompson, and not vote for him since they'll have voted DiBlasio instead).

2. Charles Hynes: and remember that name as they guy they always voted for, and vote for him.
Oct. 3, 2013, 5:37 pm
David Icky from Niburu says:
Will Peter Lance play any role in this race?
Oct. 3, 2013, 6:25 pm
Joe from Boozy Point says:
In the end, Joe goes out a two time loser.

What a chump !!
Oct. 3, 2013, 10:27 pm
Julio from Mill Basin says:
Clarence norman ran all of Hynes campaigns.
I remember, I was there.
Does Joe remember?
Oct. 3, 2013, 10:55 pm
Judge Judy from Park Slope says:
I think Joe needs a court appointed guardian
Oct. 3, 2013, 11:06 pm
Tonto from Sunset Park says:
Loser once

Loser twice

Joe is a born loser
Oct. 3, 2013, 11:27 pm
O'Malley from Brreezy says:
age old tension between an irishman and an african american. these two groups have such an affinity for each other, right? take a stroll in breezy some time kenny. maybe gerritsen beach?
Oct. 3, 2013, 11:34 pm
Frank from Canarsie says:
The last time a Republican won in Brooklyn was 1937.

Hynes should have then.
Oct. 3, 2013, 11:54 pm
Barry from Los Angeles says:
How can you mend a broken heart, how can a loser ever win?

How do you stop, the sun from shining thats . . .
Oct. 3, 2013, 11:59 pm
Ronnie from Williamsburg says:
So can we expect more Hasidic voting fraud attempts in November?:

Oct. 4, 2013, Midnight
Tricky Dick from Saddle River says:
Does Joe now support voter Id laws?

And why hasn't Andrew Cuomo come out to support the democrat?
Oct. 4, 2013, 12:05 am
Carlos Danger from Park Avenue says:
If Hynes gets more than 29% of the vote it'll break a record.

Unfortunately for Hynes that still means he lost.
Oct. 4, 2013, 2:20 am
Lester from Prague says:
How many times do the voters have to tell this guy to get lost.

The last time a Republican won office in Brooklyn was over a hundred years ago. And that guy didn't have a pedophile scandal.

Oct. 4, 2013, 2:48 am
Frank Luntz from Washington D.C. says:
Lhota's latest poll has him at 19%.

Yeah Joe, I'd jump on that bandwagon !!
Oct. 4, 2013, 2:52 am
klop from brop says:
marty golden is a goper and he won less than 100 years ago. his reign feels like over 100 years, but still.
Oct. 4, 2013, 6:37 am
Kramer from Jay Street says:
Hynes made a lot of money off the real estate seizures he did through Senior Citizens Assistance unit. He lined his pockets and now he's afraid it'll come out.
Oct. 4, 2013, 7:30 am
Prospect Heights Resident from Prospect Heights says:
Despite what some people think, I believe that this race is certainly winnable by Hynes. Black voter turnout is notoriously low in Brooklyn, and in NYC in general. The same is true for Hispanic voter turnout. Voters are familiar with Hynes and are used to voting for him in the general election. Mark my words, he's going to explicitly run as a "Democrat on the GOP/Conservative ballot" and not as a Republican. He certainly has my vote.
Oct. 4, 2013, 8 am
bkmanhatposeur from brokeland says:
We must vigilant of the Satmar vote fraud! People of BRooklyn get out the vote! Don't let back Hynes in!
Oct. 4, 2013, 8:22 am
Mustache Pete from Fort Greene says:
Go Away, Joe! You were a great prosecutor once. You were even a good DA for awhile. But you've been in office too long and let thugs like Vecchione destroy its reputation while you were asleep at the wheel. Time to head off to Breezy Point.
Oct. 4, 2013, 9:47 am
Joey from Clinton Hills says:
Thompson is surrounding himself with various incompetent and corrupt losers who were thrown out of the Brooklyn DA's office for cause...which is very scary. Hynes is weak and infirm, but I decided I'll vote for him as the lesser of two evils.
Oct. 4, 2013, 10:03 am
Frank from Brooklyn South says:
Clinton Hills?
Oct. 4, 2013, 10:27 am
Joe H from Disneyworld says:
People in Bed Stuy and Brooklyn Heights voting Republican.

I guess it can happen for a DA who has been labeled the most corrupt political hack in NYC.

Puleeeze !!!!!!!!!!!!!
Oct. 4, 2013, 10:38 am
Richard from Park Slope says:
Hynes thought he was above the law.

He wasn't and it finally caught up with him.

Wake up Joe and realize what thousands of voters have already figured out. Your out.
Oct. 4, 2013, 10:53 am
jay says:
He'll get the 'religious' pedophilia-phile vote ... early and often.
Oct. 4, 2013, 11:32 am
Terance from The Bronx says:
Jamaliqua, What republican would vote for this clown? He's been a democrat since Moses parted the Red Sea, now he's gonna run as a republican? This smacks of a power hungry career politician that doesn't know when he's been rebuked. Hynes has lost whatever shred of credibility he might've had left. Another lying, corrupt, political hack.
Oct. 5, 2013, 1:20 am
Jeez, I Worked Lste Tonight from Bay Ridge says:
Terance, GOPers will vote for him because the local GOP powers pushed his re-candidacy (signaling that he's a must to their interests), he'll owe them one, and he's not Ken Thompson.

They will overlook his party switch, sloppy-corrupt casework, "special treatment" of child molesters, etc., because a shot at power is more important than principle.
Oct. 5, 2013, 2:11 am
Prospect Heights Resident from Prospect Heights says:
I'm sure Thompson is running under more than one party name, and he has every right to do so, even if he lost the Democratic nomination. But, note, Hynes is STILL a Democrat; he's merely running on the GOP/Conservative lines.

The outrage I hear coming from elitist leftists is amusing. Would you rather Brooklyn residents not have a meaningful choice on Election Day? I see you think that only Democratic voters should decide the Borough's most powerful position.

As I wrote earlier, Hynes has a good shot to win because he is more well known than Thompson. Period. Depending on how much Thompson can raise to attack Hynes across Brooklyn, most voters probably won't even notice they're voting on the GOP line; all they'll see is "Charles Hynes."
Oct. 5, 2013, 3:41 am
Jean from Bay RIdge says:
Prospect Heights.. I agree... Letitia James lost on Democratic line and ran on Working Families Party and won... She had that right to run on another line --now we proudly have her as our Public Advocate... as Democrat and Working Families Party.. If Clarence Norman was not involved in the DA election for Mr. Thompson I would not be concerned.. his active role in the primary campaign is deeply troubling.. and while I am not thrilled to vote on Republican line.. I am a DEMOCRAT who WILL vote for Mr. Hynes.
Oct. 5, 2013, 7:47 am
pete from Park Slope says:
I'll vote for Ken Thompson. Hynes is too old,another NY pol who thinks he's entitled to the office forever,and I agree w/ above -a lot of phony prosecutions,His stupid ego over one of his guys daring to write a book that didn't have Joe's name on the cover, bullying other candidates;It goes on and on.
That said, Ken Thompson doesn't impress me either. I shook his had and said I'd vote for him,
and the Dude wouldn't look me in the eye-always
a bad sign.

Oct. 5, 2013, 8:50 am
Dave from bay ridge says:
No more Hynes!
I'm for Thompson.
Oct. 5, 2013, 10:35 am
Richard from Park Slope says:
Is Mitt Romney going to campaign for Joe?
Oct. 5, 2013, 2:16 pm
Bruce from Bay Ridge says:
Joe seems desperate with this move coming so soon after the Scarcella scandal. He's 72 years old; why not go out with dignity? Thompson is far from an ideal choice (the way he handled the Strauss-Khan affair left a lot to be desired), but I think Joe long ago reached his expiration date.
Oct. 7, 2013, 8:47 pm

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