Even with the help of brazen primary day vote fraud perpetrated by the South Williamsburg ultra-Orthodox Jewish community, Brooklyn DA Charles Hynes still had his ass handed to him by Ken Thompson, who was the first candidate to oust an incumbent Kings County DA in a century. But during the hotly contested primary campaign, Hynes shrewdly got himself on the Republican and Conservative party tickets. Thompson supporters saw this as a "cynical insurance policy" in the event that Hynes lost the primary, and now there are indications they were correct.
Although Hynes is still publicly promising not to actively campaign in the general election and has promised a smooth transition to Thompson, his name will nevertheless appear on the ballot in November. And Republican lawmakers like State Senator Marty Golden are pushing hard for Hynes to actively campaign, and are working behind the scenes to drum up support. Today the Times reports that "three people close to [Hynes] are saying that he is, indeed, considering it."
Hynes's spokesman Dennis Quirk told us Hynes "is on vacation with his family" and insisted that Hynes "is not involved in this movement. You should talk to Marty Golden. Marty Golden is the one who gave it to the press and started the whole thing." But Quirk added that Hynes has received "over 2,000 text messages and emails and people wanting to give him money to run."
Reached on vacation, Hynes told the Times, "I said after I lost the primary that I would not actively seek re-election on the Republican or Conservative line. I’m giving you a very clear, definitive answer." But when asked if he would tell Republicans not to campaign on his behalf, Hynes said, "I’m the nominee of two legitimate parties and I will remain as the nominee through the general election. For me to do anything else would be disrespectful of the leadership who gave me the nomination in the first place."
Golden was not immediately available for comment today, but he told CBS 2 yesterday Hynes could win with the support of Republicans and a minority of Democratic and independent voters. "I do believe that we have a great opportunity here for this district attorney to win this race if, in fact, he engages," Golden declared.
A string of wrongful convictions and allegations that he failed to aggressively prosecute child molesters in the ultra-Orthodox community made the 78-year-old Charles Hynes, a lifelong Democrat, vulnerable in the primary. But Golden argues, persuasively, that turnout was low in the primary, with only 22 percent of Democrats voting. Republicans also believe, desperately, that an active Hynes campaign might help doomed candidate Joe Lhota.
Ken Thompson’s spokesman, James Freedland, said, "We will take Hynes at his word that he will not be running as a Republican in November after a lifetime in the Democratic Party."