An Interesting Phenomenon taking place among Orthodox Jewish voters, or rather the rank and file of the community who speak for themselves and their political circle, whom to support for mayor in the upcoming mayoral elections, writes Adam Dickter in The Jewish Week.
Based on his selected conversations, Dicker assesses that while Quinn, Salgado and Catsimatidis are all vying for the Orthodox Jewish vote, Thompson and de Blasio seem to be in the best position for winning a bulk of Jewish votes.
“Bill Thompson has longstanding relationships with the Jewish community, and having Merryl Tisch as his campaign chair certainly gives him credentials with a wider group of people,” Cynthia Darrison, a political consultant who is not representing any candidate for mayor,said Tuesday. “Bill de Blasio when he was in the City Council represented parts of Borough Park, and he established a good relationship through that. Quinn has been involved in the broader Jewish community over the years as speaker.”
“Thompson has a track record of being there, answering the phone, responding to issues, showing up even when it’s unpopular,” said Chaskel Bennett, a member of Agudah’s board and Thompson supporter, told The Jewish Week.
Political consultant Ezra Friedlander, who is supporting Quinn but not working for her campaign, noted that the speaker recently said that, if elected, she’d favor retaining Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, despite the current controversy over the department’s stop-and-frisk policy, its impact on minority communities and the debate on whether it actually reduces crime.
Friedlander said Kelly is popular in Orthodox neighborhoods where residents worry about typical crime as well as rising anti-Semitism and the threat of terrorism. “When she publicly came out and said she would retain Ray Kelly, a chasidic rebbe came over to me and said he will support Quinn just because of that,” said Friedlander.
"In the Republican field, only Catsimitidis seems to be making a concerted play for Jewish votes," Dickter writes, "with his campaign reaching out to Jewish media, including The Jewish Week."
“I saw Joe Lhota at one Jewish event and we exchanged cards, but that was the last I heard of him,” said radio host Zev Brenner of Talkline Communications, which is aimed at Orthodox listeners. “The Democrats, I get contacted by them all the time. They’d be on weekly if I would let them. The Republicans are almost invisible, except for Catsimitidis.”