Lithuanian-Ashkenazi candidate Yisrael Porush was elected to head the city of Elad in Tuesday's elections. Porush defeated Krispel by a margin of over 500 votes, in a city with about 38,000 residents, including Ashkenazi hareidim, Sephardic hareidim, and religious Zionists.
Hundreds of city residents received recorded phone messages during election day from Bayit Yehudi Chairman Naftali Bennett, urging them to vote for Porush.
The results are a defeat for Shas Chairman Aryeh Deri, who threw all of his political weight behind Krispel. Voters were told that Rabbi Ovadia Yoself ztz"l had given instructions to vote for Krispel, but even this was not enough to bring about victory for Shas.
Deri called Porush when the results were published and congratulated him on the victory. "I told him that my wish for him is that he will be everyone's mayor," Deri said. "I wish him success in his new job and hope he will lead the city to prosperity and unity for the good of all residents."
Deri's opponents in Shas want to convene the party's Council of Torah Sages and ask them to select a new leader for the party, following the defeats at Jerusalem and Elad.