After blasting Ken Thompson throughout a fiery Democratic primary for Brooklyn district attorney, Councilman David Greenfield reversed course today and endorsed him over his rival, incumbent Charles Hynes.
Speaking at a press conference called to herald the occasion, Mr. Greenfield said meetings with Mr. Thompson had changed his mind.
“I will tell you that I actually have had the opportunity on several occasions now to get to know Ken Thompson,” Mr. Greenfield said. “Consistently, across the board, the feedback that I’ve gotten has been incredibly positive and I, myself, have been impressed. Ken is somebody who has a stellar background as a law enforcement official.”
Mr. Greenfield, a power broker in the Orthodox Jewish community, loudly backed Mr. Hynes in the primary, at one point claiming that Mr. Thompson would “target the Jewish community” as a district attorney. While Mr. Hynes dominated the vote in the areas encompassing Mr. Greenfield’s district, Mr. Thompson ultimately triumphed in the Democratic contest by a decisive margin.
Since then, Mr. Hynes has continued his uphill re-election bid on the Republican and Conservative lines, infuriating many in the Democratic establishment. Mr. Greenfield, a Democrat with an independent streak, said endorsing Mr. Thompson would be a unifying moment for his community and implied the heated rhetoric of the primary did not mean very much; last week, Mr. Thompson appeared on Mr. Greenfield’s radio show, an early indication that an olive branch was already being extended.
Mr. Greenfield also didn’t think his endorsement, in any case, would swing overwhelming numbers of voters. (The Orthodox community has recently been among the most likely voting blocs to back Republicans in general elections.)
“I don’t think I have any magical powers. I think that what happened was the community leadership which I, as I pointed out, am only a spokesperson of, had rallied around Charles Hynes who at the time was the incumbent and he got the support,” Mr. Greenfield told Politicker. “What you’re seeing right now is, post primary, the community is coming together with the rest of Brooklyn and we are now rallying around Ken Thompson.”
For his part, Mr. Thompson welcomed the endorsement, promising he would look out for Mr. Greenfield’s community.
“When I become DA, this community is going to be stronger, this community is going to be safer,” Mr. Thompson said. “The partnership that I’m going to have with Council member Greenfield is going to be an important one because I want to learn as much as I can about the community.”