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Thursday, April 11, 2013

Weiner's Jewish Brothers Embrace Ambitions, Divided On Timing

While pundits are divided among themselves whether Weiner's bombshell announcement that he's seeking to jump into the mayoral race hurts frontrunner Christine Quinn or Bill de Blasio, there's definitely one group that is not yet locked on any of the candidates. Weiner entry could shake up allegiances among New York City’s Jews, Josh Nathan-Kazis writes in The Forward.

“Before his difficulties, before his personal troubles, he was going to be mayor,” said Michael Tobman, a New York City-based political consultant.  “Let’s not forget, this is the guy during the [health care reform] debate who was on [the Rachel Maddow Show] every night,” Tobman said.

“Weiner makes trouble for Public Advocate De Blasio and Speaker Quinn,” said Hank Sheinkopf, a New York City political consultant. “He’s got the right name and a history in the outer boroughs, in places where the bulk of the Jews live.” 

"Weiner’s unlikely to break into Quinn’s base of support in Manhattan, as much as he is likely break into the votes that are ostensibly up for grabs in Brooklyn and Queens,” said another New York Democratic consultant. 

While non-Orthodox Jewish voters may still be up for grabs, Ezra Friedlander from the Friedlander group believes it may be too late for Weiner to win ultra-Orthodox support, since Orthodox leaders and activists have already committed to some candidates, particularly de Blasio and Thompson. 

Despite the fact that “the Orthodox community in particular is a very forgiving community, I don't see how he comes in and carves out his slice," said Ezra Friedlander, who is one of the very few in the Orthodox community to back Quinn. “At this late stage of the mayors race, it’s too late to solicit support when its already been pledged elsewhere.” 

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