Daily Israel Report

Bid for New 'Super Jewish' State Senate Seat

Former Councilman Simcha Felder announced a bid for state Senate in a newly created district, which includes Borough Park and Flatbush.
By Rachel Hirshfeld
First Publish: 4/25/2012, 4:33 PM

voting in Brooklyn
voting in Brooklyn
Reuters

Former Councilman Simcha Felder has announced a bid for the state Senate in a newly created district, which includes Borough Park and Flatbush, and is expected to receive a majority Jewish vote.

Assemblyman Dov Kikind and Councilman David Greenfield, fellow Orthodox Democrats, endorsed Felder for the new “Super Jewish” state seat at a press conference on Tuesday.

"People are excited that the Jewish community, and others, have come together in supporting Simcha Felder," said Hikind. “The reaction throughout this entire district, which some people call a super-Jewish district, has just been overwhelmingly positive.”

"Simcha, of course, is a very close personal friend, but more than, that he's somebody who has shown an incredible commitment to this community," said Greenfield.

While Felder is a registered Democrat, he was reported to have met with Republican Majority Leader Dean Skelos, who encouraged him to run.

Felder reportedly dodged journalists’ questions at the press conference about whether he would caucus with Democrats or Republicans.

In a phone interview Friday, Felder said "I don't believe that belonging to political parties is a religious oath. I believe it's important to work with everyone and anyone who will help the Senate district and that's what I intend to do."

Felder’s campaign signs did not include any party affiliation, but read: “We All Need More Simcha,” a double entendre referring to the candidate as well as “happiness” in Hebrew.

Greenfield was an ardent opponent of the so-called “Super Jewish” District, saying it is essentially a Jewish "ghetto" that dilutes the community's power by removing voters from surrounding districts, the Jewish Week reported.

"It's there now, irrespective of how anyone feels about it," said Felder of the change. "I can do the best job anyone can to represent the district."