Black politicians sweep Brooklyn elections

Nayaba Arinde | 11/7/2013, 10:22 a.m.
Ken Thompson Photo by Lem Peterkin

Is Brooklyn in the house?! On Tuesday night, you couldn’t tell a Brooklynite a darn thing. The energy in the People’s Republic of Brooklyn was astronomical.

“Brooklyn is running things in this city!” shouted Craig, a public school teacher and ecstatic attendee at new District Attorney-elect Ken Thompson’s victory party. “We have a Black Brooklyn D.A. with Ken, we have a Black Brooklyn borough president with state Sen. Eric Adams, a Black female public advocate with Letitia James, and we keep Brooklyn strong with Robert Cornegy taking over Councilman Al Vann’s seat.”

“All of the new people sort of grew up together, so there’s no new friends. We all know our strengths and weaknesses, which is absolutely essential for the city,” Council Member-elect Cornegy told the AmNews after his victory party at Milk River club in Bed-Stuy. “Yes, Brooklyn is looking really strong, right. It is cute to say that everybody is from Brooklyn [in terms of the big citywide elections], but it is only a cute slogan if we don’t work together.

“It only becomes a hashtag—#Brooklynstrong—if we don’t bring our collective strengths together. But yes, Brooklyn is looking really good!”

With Biggie pumping out of the speakers and folks from all walks of life and all creeds sipping on drinks and chowing down on sliders, patties, barbecue chicken, salad and rice in Sanders Studios in Bed-Stuy, the feelings of anticipation were electric as people vibes in Sanders Studios in Bed-Stuy, the anticipation was electric as people counted down the moment when Thompson would be declared the winner in what had become a vitriolic battle with District Attorney Charles Hynes.

There was an air of righteous validation in the large room as the numbers came in showing a landslide victory over Hynes, who had gracefully conceded defeat after the bruising Sept. 10 primary, which he lost to Thompson by 10 points, only to turn around and announce months later that he was going to run on the Republican and Conservative lines to prolong his 23-year career as Brooklyn district attorney. The fact that the six-term Brooklyn district attorney had been a Democrat for his almost 30-year career and suddenly switched sides, plus the bitter campaign, which was reduced at times to name-calling and accusations, signaled that under Hynes, the borough would return to former days of high crime, fear and corruption. Voters rejected the negative lean and gave Thompson a huge mandate.

Solemnly facing his supporters in Bay Ridge during his concession speech on Tuesday night, Hynes admitted that he was shocked by the “substantial vote.

With Thompson trouncing him for the second time in two months—this time with a 75 percent to 25 percent thrashing—the 79-year-old Hynes proclaimed, “It gives Ken Thompson a clear mandate, which he didn’t have after the primary.”

“I am truly grateful and deeply humbled, for the people of Brooklyn have taken a man who started out in life with the odds stacked against him and made him the next district attorney of Brooklyn,” Thompson told the happy folks at his victory party.