City Councilman David Greenfield‘s (D-Borough Park, Midwood, Bensonhurst) surprise announcemnt yesterday that he will step down when his term ends to head the Metropolitican Council of Jewish Poverty has created a mad dash in the tight-knit community to replace him.
According to a Borough Park community leader with a wealth of knowledge about the situation, there are four main contenders to replace him: Greenfield’s lontime political operative Kalman Yeger, Assemblyman Dov Hikind’s son, Yoni Hikind, State Senator and former City Councilman Simcha Felder and Republican District Leader Nachman Caller.
Yeger has already registered with the city’s Campiagn Finance Board to challenge City Councilman Chaim Deutch (D-Sheepshead Bay, Manhattan Beach, Brighton Beach, Homecrest) in the 48th District, but is reportedly weighing his options whether to seek Greenfield’s 44th District seat.
Yeager has the inside track to the Democratic Party nod because Greenfield controls the local party committee and can fill any vacancies that come up. Neither Yeger or Greenfield could be reached for comment.
While Yoni couldn’t be reached for comment, Dov Hikind said he has been getting a lot of phone calls from perople interested in running, but did not mention any names including his son’s name in conversation.
“In this district an independent candidate with the Conservative Party endorsement might be viable. Just because someone has the Democratic Party line doesn’t mean much in Borough Park,” Hikind said. “The most important thing is whover takes over the city council seat must be dedicated to the community, be there for constituents, and have the courage to speak up and speak out when neccissary.”
Hikind said he has been approached to run, but has no interest. He also conceded that it is Greenfield’s right to choose whomever he wanted as the Democratic Party Candidate.
“It’s not fair to the community, but it is totally legitimate. It would be a really closed process for a very important position,” said Hikind, adding he thinks nothing at all of Yeger.
One sign that Hikind is looking to run his son, Yoni, however, is Democratic District Leader David Schwartz, who is very close to the Hikind family, said he is absolutely not running.
Felder, a registered Democrat would likely run on the Republican line if he decides to run, although Greenfield Tweeted today that he would support him if he decides to run.
Oddly enough, Felder would probably get a lot of support from progressive Democrats as well. That’s because Felder, caucuses with the Senate Republicans, and is the deciding vote between Democrats becoming the majority in the Senate. If he went again to the city council, it would open the senate seat up for another mainstream Democrat.
Felder texted that he is not running for the seat.
Caller has the money to mount a credible campaign and has had an interest in holding a higher office for some time. He could not be reached for comment.
Editor’s Note: This story was updated to say that Felder texted that he is not running for the seat.