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Brooklyn DA Candidate Plans Smooth Transition From Longtime Incumbent

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In one of the most surprising races from primary night, longtime Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes lost his bid for a seventh term to his challenger Ken Thompson, who is already working on building his transition team. NY1's Jeanine Ramirez filed the following report.

This is the first of many press conferences Ken Thompson will be holding, now that he's on his way to becoming the next Brooklyn district attorney.

"We have an opportunity now to transform the DA's office, to make it the greatest law enforcement office in the country," Thompson said.

Thompson pulled an upset Tuesday, defeating the six-term incumbent Charles Hynes, which marked the first time that has happened in the borough's DA race in more than century.

Thompson will be the Democratic nominee in the general election, and Hynes says he won't challenge him on other lines.

"The campaign is over. Now, we have to work together to make a smooth transition," Thompson said.

Thompson grew up in city public housing and went to John Jay College and New York University Law School.

He's a former federal prosecutor, known for his work in the Abner Louima police brutality case.

In private practice, he represented the maid who accused International Monetary Fund Chief Dominque Strauss Khan of sexual assault.

In his new role, the Clinton Hill resident says he'll focus on public safety issues, including assigning prosecutors to high crime precincts to decide whether stop-and-frisk cases are valid and creating a unit dedicated to gun violence.

"We have the second lowest felony conviction for gun crimes in Brooklyn. So I want to come up with creative ways to get these illegal guns off the street," Thompson said.

Thompson says he'll build his transition team in the coming weeks, and Hynes is giving him space in the DA's office.

Thompson credits Hynes for his years of service to Brooklyn and plans to keep some of the programs Hynes created, including initiatives for drug treatment and community re-entry for those who were incarcerated.

As for a new staff?

"Right now I can't tell you the personnel changes, but clearly we're going to bring in new people," Thompson said.

The Brooklyn DA's office is one of the largest in the country, and Thompson will oversee a staff of 1,200 people.

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