By Jessica Dye
New York, Feb 7 (Reuters) - Brooklyn District Attorney
Charles Hynes officially announced his bid for re-election
Thursday, touting a string of high-profile endorsements as he
begins what will likely be a tough battle to keep the job he has
held since 1990.
Hynes made the announcement on the steps of Brooklyn Borough
Hall, flanked by his family and dozens of local officials and
community leaders, including former New York City mayor David
Dinkins, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz and state
Senator Martin Dilan.
In September, Hynes, 77, will square off in the Democratic
primary against two challengers: litigator and former federal
prosecutor Kenneth Thompson, 46, and Abe George, 34, a former
assistant district attorney in Manhattan. Thompson made
headlines when he filed a civil suit on behalf of the hotel maid
who accused former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique
Strauss-Kahn of sexual assault. That case settled in December
for an undisclosed sum.
According to January campaign filings, Hynes has $373,165 in
his war chest. Thompson has $264,252 and George has $179,673,
At his announcement, Hynes said he had cracked down on
serious crime, which had dropped 87 percent in Brooklyn, and the
murder rate was at its lowest point since he took office in
1990. Hynes cited a number of crime prevention efforts
implemented during his tenure, including a program to buy back
handguns, reach out to domestic violence victims and help reduce
criminal recidivism rates.
"There is much for us to be proud of in what we have
accomplished since 1990, but much more can be done," Hynes said,
according to prepared remarks.
Despite his achievements, Hynes has come under some fire in
the past year from critics who have accused him of shielding the
identity of sex offenders in Brooklyn's ultra-orthodox Jewish
In a May 2012 Daily News op-ed article, Hynes shot back,
saying that it was "absurd to suggest" that his office had
covered up or downplayed these cases.
On Thursday, Hynes said he remains committed to developing
"culturally sensitive programs that protect communities
everywhere in Brooklyn."
Despite the number of endorsements Hynes has racked up,
George said, he expected voters would see the office has been
"guided by politics."
"It's a new day in Brooklyn, and I think voters are going to
embrace change and reform - and that's the message we're going
Thompson said in a statement that he looked forward to
sharing his vision for the office over the coming months. "It's
time for a new Brooklyn DA," he said.
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