NEW YORK, Jan 15 (Reuters) – Brooklyn district attorney Charles Hynes got off to a slow fundraising start in his 2013 re-election bid, but two challengers including Kenneth Thompson reported six-figure hauls in 2012.
Hynes, a 77-year-old, six-term incumbent, raised $27,275 during the last six months of the year, giving him $373,165 in his war chest, according to a periodic campaign finance report filed Tuesday with the state Board of Elections.
The two challengers facing Hynes in the Democratic primary are Thompson, 46, and Abe George, 34, a former assistant district attorney in Manhattan.
Thompson has raised more than $341,000 since his campaign kick-off event in December and has $264,252 on hand, according to campaign filings. A former federal prosecutor, Thompson made headlines when he filed a civil suit on behalf of hotel maid Nafissatou Diallo, who accused former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn of sexual assault. The case settled for an undisclosed sum.
George, who filed his campaign disclosure form on Tuesday, raised $210,000. He said the fundraising filings signal that Brooklyn is ready for a new DA.
“Hynes’s meager $27,000 disclosure shows that not only has he lost interest in being Brooklyn DA, but more importantly, that the people of Brooklyn have lost interest in him,” George said in an emailed statement. “People have made up their mind that they want change.”
Thompson’s campaign has some high-profile supporters, including Chris Rock Enterprises, a company founded by comedian Chris Rock, which contributed $5,000; the wife of actor Denzel Washington, Pauletta, who contributed $500; and lawyer Ted Wells of Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison, who contributed $5,000, according to campaign filings.
Thompson’s law partner, Douglas Wigdor, donated $30,000, according to the filing, and Thompson himself contributed $25,000. Their firm, Thompson Wigdor, kicked in an additional $5,000, the filings showed.
Thompson said in a statement that he hoped to capitalize on the early support to get his ideas across to voters before the election this fall. It is “humbling to have the tremendous support of so many people so fast,” he said.
One of George’s biggest supporters is David Boies of Boies Schiller & Flexner, who has contributed $45,000 and agreed to co-chair George’s campaign committee, George said in an email.
Meanwhile, Hynes’s filing showed a much smaller pool of contributors. One Manhattan law firm, Baratta Baratta Aidala, contributed $1,000. Hynes’s largest contribution from the last six months was $10,000 from Crown Acquisitions, a New York real estate firm.
A spokesman for Hynes’s campaign, George Arzt, said that Hynes has not done any fundraising since June and has been focusing on “doing the work of the DA, not raising money.”
“We’re about getting the job done, not glitz,” Arzt said.