Elkin says Barkat supports him in Jerusalem mayoral race

'Nir Barkat wants me to run, he was the first one to turn to me.'

Tzvi Lev ,

Ze'ev Elkin
Ze'ev Elkin
Flash 90

Environmental Protection Minister Ze'ev Elkin said that he would enjoy the full backing of current Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat if he decides to run for the soon to be vacant position in the upcoming municipal elections in October.

"Nir Barkat wants me to run, he was one of the first to turn to me. We will involve him and make a decision," said Elkin. While Elkin did not confirm whether he will indeed announce his candidacy, he said that "I hope that we will make decisions in the coming weeks, and this is a very important challenge and I take it very, very seriously."

The Jerusalem Mayoral race is seen as wide open ever since current city head Nir Barkat recently announced he would not seek re-election in October, and that he would instead submit his candidacy for the Likud list for the Knesset elections in 2019.

If elected, Elkin would arrive at Jerusalem's municipality extremely familiar with the city's intricacies, as he currently serves as Minister for Jerusalem Affairs in the government.

An immigrant from the former Soviet Union, Elkin was first elected to the Knesset in 2006 as part of the Kadima faction and joined the Likud in 2009. He is considered especially close to Prime Minister Netanyahu.

Municipal elections are held in Israel every five years, with the next election scheduled for October 30th, 2018. Other rumored candidates are Likud Coalition Chairman Dudi Amsallem, Zionist Union MK Nachman Shai, and former Shas head and Interior Minister Eli Yishai.