Congressional Duo Endorses Insurgent Brooklyn DA Candidate

Kenneth Thompson receives the endorsement of Hakeem Jeffries and Yvette Clarke.

Kenneth Thompson receives the endorsement of Hakeem Jeffries and Yvette Clarke.

Congress members Hakeem Jeffries and Yvette Clarke today endorsed Ken Thompson in the Brooklyn District Attorney’s race, lending two big names to Mr. Thompson’s challenge against the long-time incumbent, Charles Hynes.

“We need new leadership in the Brooklyn DA’s office that will take on tough cases and not run the other way,” Mr. Thompson, an attorney, said at a Brooklyn Borough Hall press conference this afternoon.

“We clearly need new leadership that’s based on a DA that is tough but fair, that will fight for justice,” he added, likely referencing various controversies Mr. Hynes’s office has faced handling certain criminal cases. “As Brooklyn DA, I will not only fight against crime or corruption, wherever it exists, I will make sure that every case is investigated and prosecuted with integrity so that justice prevails.”

For his part, Mr. Jeffries said he’d chosen to endorse Mr. Thompson based on his own merits and not any animus towards Mr. Hynes.

“This is a forward-looking endorsement as it relates to who is the best person to hold that position from this moment into the future,” Mr. Jeffries told reporters. “Ken Thompson has the right combination of experience both professional and personal that convinced me he was the right man for the job at this point in time.”

Mr. Jeffries, who has received campaign contributions from Mr. Thompson in his own races, cited Mr. Thompson’s experience as a former federal prosecutor and civil rights attorney as driving motivations, while Ms. Clarke said Mr. Thompson’s “unwavering commitment to public service” motivated her to endorse him.

“He has been there for the voiceless and he has been there on the right of jurisprudence,” she explained.

In addition to legitimizing his candidacy, today’s endorsements give Mr. Thompson additional support in Brooklyn’s sizable African-American constituencies. Mr. Thompson, who is black, is undoubtedly hoping to consolidate support in districts exactly like Ms. Clarke’s and Mr. Jeffries’s.

Ms. Clarke’s endorsement was also notable because the Hynes campaign initially said on June 2 that she would endorse Mr. Hynes, but a press conference scheduled for that day was abruptly cancelled. Ms. Clarke told Politicker that she never had any intention of endorsing Mr. Hynes, who has served as the Brooklyn DA since 1990.

Mr. Thompson is also facing former Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Abe George in the Democratic primary.

Congressional Duo Endorses Insurgent Brooklyn DA Candidate