The two New York City primary races that have received the most attention in the last few months have been the mayoral race and the city comptroller race. Now, it's pretty clear why the Democratic primary for mayor of New York would get a ton of attention. The winner of this primary is very likely going to be the next mayor of this city and that, as they say, is a pretty big deal. Add in the facts that the presumed front-runner (Christine Quinn) stumbled out of the starting gate and never really recovered and that a formerly disgraced candidate (do I really need to clarify who? ok, Anthony Weiner) disgraced himself again in the exact same manner that caused him to leave office in the first place, and you've got yourself the makings of an interesting race.
The comptroller primary wound up being surprisingly interesting due to yet another disgraced former New York politician (Eliot Spitzer) throwing his hat into the ring against the more-than-competent, scandal-free Manhattan Borough president Scott Stringer, and will perhaps be the tightest race of today, with both candidates polling at roughly the same numbers. So, both of those races are really important, and super interesting, and while I am personally invested in both of their outcomes and happy to vote for Scott Stringer and Bill De Blasio, neither of these races are as important to me—or to Brooklyn as a whole—as the race for Brooklyn District Attorney. Thatis the most important race going today.
Brooklyn's current District Attorney, Charles "Joe" Hynes, is as scandal-plagued and corrupt as they come. And when you're talking local politics? In a borough that also gave you the execrable Vito Lopez? That's pretty damned corrupt and scandal-plagued. Over a year ago, I gave eight reasons why Hynes needed to get voted out of office, but just as a quick recap, in Hynes' time (he's served since 1989) he has been known to strong-arm witnesses, unjustly pursued political opponents through legal channels (even going so far as getting one declared mentally incompetent), and, probably most despicably, has continuously protected pedophiles in the Orthodox Jewish community because he needs that voting bloc to stay in office. Hynes must go.
And so while most people in the city will be focusing on the two headline-grabbing races for mayor and comptroller, the one that I'll be watching most closely will be the one for Brooklyn's D.A. It might not have the highest profile candidates, but defeating Hynes will be a true victory for those of us who are determined to drive out the corrupt local politicians who have coasted to victory year after year. Vote Ken Thompson today. It's the best choice for Brooklyn, and for the health of local politics in general.
Follow Kristin Iversen on twitter @kmiversen