If Kalman Yeger, the handpicked Democratic candidate to replace City Councilman David Greenfield, is serious about the upcoming City Council District 44 election, he had better start changing coarse on his campaign warship quickly.
That after his opponent Yoni Hikind, running on the “Our Neighborhood” party line, announced today he filed a massive $250,000 war chest of contributions to run a very formidable campaign. While the Hikind campaign boasts the cash demonstrates enormous community support, it is in no doubt helped that Yoni is the son of popular Assemblyman Dov Hikind.
Still, even with the elder Hikind’s clout, a quarter of a million dollars is a lot of green to raise for a city council race in eight short weeks.
“I was overwhelmed by 4,000 petitions signed in just a few weeks,” said Yoni. “Now, to receive over a quarter-million for use in sharing my message and my platform—I am humbled and grateful. It’s a great way to start the New Year and I want to thank G-d as well as everyone in our community for your great faith in me. I’ll work hard and I won’t let you down.”
Hikind’s campaign manager, Israel Bitton, said the huge haul is a result of not only Yoni’s sincerity but also the platform that he’s put forward.
“These early signs of success demonstrate that people are excited about being listened to, about holding regular town hall meetings, and about Yoni’s proposal to end the alternate side parking regulation nightmare. And they know that Yoni will deliver on his commitments,” said Bitton.
Meanwhile, Yeger received yet another embarrassing setback when Crain’s reported last week that his campaign website boasted the endorsement of Assembly Members Bill Colton (D-Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, Gravesend) and Robert “Bobby” Carroll (DPark Slope, Windsor Terrace, Kensington), but both denied endorsing him.
Colton, in fact, even took to Facebook to say he takes his political endorsements very seriously and it was his policy to base any endorsements solely upon the track record of persons seeking such endorsement.
“I do not believe it is in the interest of good government or to the benefit of people to merely endorse someone because they are of the same party or that they have made promises or statements about what they will do in the future. If a candidate does not have a track record of doing something before they ask for an endorsement then usually they cannot be depended on to start doing that after they are elected,” he wrote on Facebook.
The endorsement post on Yeger’s website also boasted the support of several other Brooklyn lawmakers including Assemblymembers Steve Cymbrowitz and Peter Abbate, and City Councilmember Alan Maisel. interestingly, Yeger’s photo and name was superimposed against lettering in what appears like an old Greenfield campaign poster.
After the Crain’s story appeared, Yeger’s website was taken down and remains down. Neither Yeger or Greenfield could be reached at post time.
While Yeger’s campaign appears in disarray, he still has time to regain some momentum and has a healthy $81,679 left to spend on the campaign according to Campaign Finance Board records. Additionally, Greenfield has more than $490,000 in his campaign coffers, and is one of Brooklyn’s best campaign fundraisers.
Greenfield stepped down from the council in July to head the Met Council on Jewish Poverty. As he was the only person to hand in Democratic Party petitions in time for last month’s primary, election law allowed his controlled Committee on Vacancies to hand-pick Yeger.
The district includes Boro Park and parts of Bensonhurst, Flatbush and Midwood. The election is Nov. 7.