It took him two elections to seal the deal, but Ken Thompson will be Brooklyn’s next district attorney.
After defeating six-term incumbent Charles Hynes Tuesday, Mr. Thompson, a former federal prosecutor, celebrated his stunning victory by vowing to reform stop and frisk and right wrongful convictions.
“As part of Brooklyn’s great future we must ensure that no man or woman is convicted wrongfully… and we must also make sure that we free all the innocent people who have been wrongfully convicted,” Mr. Thompson said when he finally took the stage before his supporters in Clinton Hill, among them former Gov. David Paterson, Congressman Hakeem Jeffries and actor Chris Noth.
The reference to wrongful convictions—one of the his main criticisms against Mr. Hynes’ record—was one of the few references Mr. Thompson made to his opponent during his victory speech.
Mr. Hynes, however, was a palpable presence throughout the entire race, refusing to bow out after Mr. Thompson unseated him with 55 percent of the vote during the Democratic primary. After initially conceding defeat, the long-serving incumbent nevertheless continued to campaign on the Republican and Conservative lines. But Tuesday’s victory was even more sweeping, with Mr. Thompson having won 71 percent of the vote just before midnight when Mr. Thompson appeared at last to speak to supporters.
“This was a tough race and we knocked down the incumbent in September and then he had the nerve to get back on the stage, so we had to knock him down again,” said Mr. Jeffries, calling it “a tremendous day because the people of Brooklyn have rejected the politics of the past and elected someone who can take us into the future.”
In his victory speech, Mr. Thompson spoke of the unlikely odds he had overcome, growing up in the projects as a little boy whom very few people thought would “amount to anything in life,” but who was lucky enough to have a dedicated mother who looked out not only for her children’s safety, but for the city’s, working as a police officer.
“For every boy and girl who may be seeing this in public housing, you can do great things with your life,” the district attorney-elect said. “You must work hard, you must believe you can do it and you must never give up. I’m an example of that.”