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Bill Thompson endorsed by Brooklyn 'kingmaker' Dov Hikind

Bill Thompson received a much-coveted endorsement from Assemblyman Dov Hikind, who came under fire earlier this year for wearing blackface to a Purim party.

bill thompson The characteristically calm, steady Bill Thompson got fired up at the launch of Caribbean-Americans for Thompson. Credit: Bess Adler

Mayoral candidate Bill Thompson received a highly coveted endorsement Thursday from Brooklyn Assemblyman Dov Hikind.

Hikind came under fire a few months ago when he wore blackface to a Purim party. He balked at calls for an apology for a full 24 hours before finally offering a "heartfelt and sincere apology."

The backlash from the Purim costume did not do very much to weaken the Democratic Assemblyman, who has been referred to as a political "kingmaker," a powerful figure whose endorsement is said to be a surefire way to secure the votes of the Brooklyn Orthodox community.

Following the blackface incident, sources told Politicker that Thompson and opposing mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio had been courting Hikind for some time, vying for his support in the election.

"De Blasio has been courting Dov for years," a source told Politicker. "Thompson employed Dov's brother in the comptroller's office. There are deep ties between Bill Thompson, Bill de Blasio and Dov Hikind."

Both de Blasio and Thompson offered tepid calls for apology from the assemblyman after the blackface incident, gingerly expressing disappointment while making a point to emphasize their respect for and relationship to him.

Christine Quinn, also a frontrunner in the mayoral race, did not go the same route, releasing a decidedly succinct statement: "Assemblyman Hikind's costume was highly inappropriate and he should apologize."

The Thompson campaign said Hikind's endorsement is based on Thompson's "plan to improve education in all communities."

Follow Danielle Tcholakian on Twitter @danielleiat

 
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