Abe George announced today that he would drop out of the race for Brooklyn district attorney, hoping to pave a path to victory for a former rival in his battle against incumbent Charles Hynes.
Mr. George, a spunky former prosecutor in the Manhattan D.A.’s office, said he was leaving the race to consolidate the “anti-Hynes” vote and give attorney Kenneth Thompson a better chance of victory.
“Brooklyn can’t afford another four years of Joe Hynes, and I realize that in order to defeat Joe Hynes I must put Brooklyn ahead of my own ambitions,” Mr. George said in a statement provided to the New York Times. “Today, I am urging all of my supporters to back Ken Thompson for district attorney because together we can begin to clean up the mess Joe Hynes has created in Brooklyn.”
“Ken is a man of integrity and justice who will fight to end the pattern of wrongful convictions and prosecutorial misconduct that has tainted the D.A.’s office,” Mr. George added.
Mr. Thompson’s uphill battle against the 78 year-old Hynes has been eased significantly by Mr. George’s exit. Facing a barrage of bad press over the mishandling of various cases over the course of his tenure, Mr. Hynes still appears a strong favorite over two relatively unknown candidates vying for the same bloc of voters disenchanted with the incumbent.
“Hynes has never faced unified opposition,” one Brooklyn Democratic insider told Politicker of the development. “County is still behind Hynes, you can’t count him out, but Thompson has money to do some damage and the general feeling in Brooklyn is, most people aren’t psyched with how the DA’s office is working. This is a real race.”
Mr. Thompson–who also recently received the endorsement of the influential healthcare workers union and a pair of federal lawmakers, Congressman Hakeem Jeffries and Congresswoman Yvette Clarke–is now working to remove Mr. George’s name from the ballot to further unify his support, according to the Daily News. Like all candidates, he recently petitioned to reach the ballot in the Democratic primary.
But some were left questioning the move. “What did Thompson promise George to drop out?” Hynes spokesman George Arzt asked the News. “This is Tammany-style backroom dealing at its worst. It doesn’t pass the smell test.”