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Incumbent Brooklyn District Attorney Charles J. Hynes, a Democrat, is leaning toward actively running as a Republican for re-election but his final decision will depend on whether his financial advisers think he can raise enough money, said sources familiar with the campaign.
Hynes, 78, lost in the Democratic primary to attorney Kenneth Thompson by more than 10 percentage points. After losing, Hynes noted that he was still listed on the Republican and Conservative party ballots but said he would not be campaigning.
But in recent days, as reported first in this space, Hynes has been approached by Republican party officials and others to reconsider, particularly because Democratic areas of south Brooklyn deemed Hynes strongholds didn’t turn out and vote in the primary.
What has also stoked Hynes’ electoral fire again are allegations reported in the news media that corrupt former Assemblyman Clarence Norman, whom Hynes convicted, was present at Thompson's victory party and helped his campaign, said the sources who didn’t want to be named.
“That is a game changer,” said one of those sources.
*UPDATE: A Democratic source who also did not want to be named responded: "Please spare us the faux outrage based on smears that Hynes and his allies manufactured and planted themselves. It's really sad that the already disgraced DA who suffered a humiliating defeat is now determined to leave office as a sore loser, too."
Yesterday, Thompson threw cold water on those reports, saying of Norman through a spokesman: "He played absolutely no role in my campaign.”
The spokesman, James Freedland, also pointed to Hynes’ earlier remarks that he was prepared to offer Thompson a smooth transition and not actively campaign.
“Nothing has changed,” Hynes told Newsday yesterday when asked about his plans.
Sources said that another factor in whether Hynes runs is if there will be enough money to run a media campaign to create a bigger turnout for the general election.
Thompson also indicated yesterday in a mass emailing that he is at least preparing for the contingency that Hynes might run. The email said “Desperate Republicans and defenders of the status quo are now playing political games to try to stop us from bringing the change that the people of Brooklyn are demanding. It is not going to work.”