A loss Tuesday night to Ken Thompson in the race for Brooklyn district attorney marks the end of Charles Hynes' 23-year career as Brooklyn DA. NY1's Anthony Pascale filed the following report.
In a fight for his political life, Charles Hynes came up short. The six-term Brooklyn district attorney lost his re-election bid Tuesday to Democrat Ken Thompson after a contentious campaign.
He told supporters in Bay Ridge that the wide margin surprised him.
"It's a substantial vote," he said. "It gives Ken Thompson a clear mandate, which he didn't have after the primary."
Hynes' defeat was no surprise, considering he lost to Thompson by 10 points in September.
Originally, Hynes said he'd go quietly, but then decided to continue his campaign on the Republican and Conservative lines. The road proved too tough, though, in a borough overwhelmingly Democratic. He raised just $200,000 post-primary, far short of the $1 million he anticipated.
"It was a tough hill to climb, but if you look at the turnout in the primary, such a low turnout in the primary, we also expected a low turnout today," said Craig Eaton, chair of the Brooklyn GOP. "You just never know."
Thompson's campaign put Hynes on the defensive from the start, highlighting several of his office's overturned convictions. There was also controversy over the way Hynes chose to prosecute several sexual abuse cases in the Orthodox Jewish community.
In the end, voters spoke loudly for change.
"I just wish the voters would know that, that the crime is down 80 percent, and unfortunately, a whole new generation of voters didn't have to live through Brooklyn the way it was," said David Schwartz, a former assistant district attorney.
So what's next for the 78-year-old Hynes? First, a 50th anniversary trip to Bermuda with his wife. After that, he said he's still open to opportunities.
"I can tell you that I am not going to kick up my heels and relax and read good books," he said. "I still have a lot to offer."