Hours before the deadline to remain on the ballot Thursday, a little-known Brooklyn district attorney candidate dropped out of the race and endorsed his opponent, potentially complicating Charles Hynes’s six-term grip as chief prosecutor of the borough.
Abe George, who struggled for attention in the three-man race, said he was backing Kenneth Thompson to avoid dividing the minority vote and giving Hynes, 77, a one-on-one foe.
“I realize that in order to defeat Joe Hynes I must put Brooklyn ahead of my own ambitions,” George said in a press release published late Thursday. “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.”
“A three-way race only spelled victory for Hynes,” he added.
Hynes, who has served as district attorney for Kings County since 1990, faces the most formidable challenge of his career as he seeks a seventh term. He has garnered the lion’s share of endorsements and has a huge money advantage over Thompson.
However, Local 1199 SEIU, the city’s largest union, which represents healthcare workers, announced on Monday it was supporting Thompson. That gives the African-American private attorney significant manpower ahead of primary day on Sept. 10. He also has the support of several black elected officials in the borough.
Thompson, a 46-year-old former federal prosecutor, is now working, with George’s assent, to remove George from the ballot. A judge will make a decision on Monday.