The Brooklyn district attorney’s race is escalating rather quickly in Boro Park.
Councilman David Greenfield and Assemblyman Dov Hikind, Orthodox Jewish surrogates for Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes and challenger Ken Thompson respectively, traded blows today after Mr. Greenfield said at a recent press conference that Mr. Thompson vowed to “target the Jewish community” for prosecution.
Mr. Hikind, no fan of Mr. Greenfield, was not amused.
“Councilman Greenfield ought to apologize for spreading disgusting lies about Ken Thompson in the Orthodox Jewish community,” Mr. Hikind said in a statement. “Unlike D.A. Hynes, who has said that Orthodox Jews are “insular” and worse than the Mafia, Ken has repeatedly stated that he will restore confidence, and fight for safety and justice for every community in Brooklyn.”
“[I]t’s no surprise that Mr. Hynes and his defenders have resorted to unconscionable gutter politics to distract voters from the truth,” Mr. Hikind added. “Baseless slandering from a desperate campaign has no place in Brooklyn.”
Both Mr. Hynes and Mr. Thompson boast close ties to the Orthodox Jewish enclaves that will help determine if Mr. Hynes is elected to another term. Mr. Hynes has been criticized in the past for letting relationships with Orthodox Jewish leaders get in the way of prosecuting sex offenders in their communities. Mr. Thompson has been among those criticizing Mr. Hynes for placing the Jewish community above others in the eyes of the law, an argument which resulted in Mr. Greenfield’s “targeting” push back.
Mr. Greenfield, who was opposed in his first City Council race by a Hikind-backed candidate and has had strained relations with him since, maintained his Thompson criticism in response to Mr. Hikind’s attack.
“Hikind can yell and scream,” Mr. Greenfield wrote. “but it won’t change the fact that his candidate for District Attorney has promised to target the Orthodox Jewish community.”
For their part, the Hynes camp said they were glad that Mr. Hikind was with the Thompson team.
“We are proud of the strong support we have in the Orthodox community,” said George Arzt, a spokesman for Mr. Hynes. “We are happy that Dov Hikind, with all his baggage, is with our opponent.”
Additional reporting by Colin Campbell