Is someone knocking on your door? Are you getting texts and emails with names of candidates trying to get on the ballot for the all important 2021 elections?
Two of three citywide elected officials -- the mayor and the comptroller -- are term-limited out of office, as are four of the five borough presidents, and most of the 51-seat City Council.
Jews have a lot to think about in many races and from both parties. But, registering to vote and actually voting in the primary is not up for discussion. Jews must vote. Especially in local elections and in primaries. These votes are in many ways more important than national elections because it’s your local officials that decide your local budgets, secure your shuls and yeshivas and help you get vaccine appointments. Local elected officials work with your school districts about what is being purchased and taught about Israel and Jews in classroom lessons and who is hiring or firing educators because they are Jews.
Don’t forget to vote in the school board elections as well.
Most Jewish voters are registered Democrats. Since President Trump’s successful Middle East policies, many have switched parties. The reality is that both parties statewide in New York have disappointed Jewish voters.
What seems apparent is that the Democratic winners of the primaries in New York will ultimately win the races in the five boroughs and surrounding counties. New York is the most progressive state in the country and no sex or nursing home scandal is going to change that. If we learned anything from the 2020 local elections, let’s be honest, except for a few exceptions, like Assemblyman Michael Lawler, Republicans can’t win. Let’s forget the third parties. We are a two party state.
Let’s talk about the mayor’s race. It’s a mess in both parties. Every single candidate is flawed. It’s really between two candidates, Andrew Yang and Eric Adams. Both candidates have ties to anti-Semites and both are being challenged by the extreme left on issues like BDS and school curriculum tied to Israel and Jewish history.
Voting for any other candidate is not helpful to Jews in the long term.
Jewish candidates Scott Stringer and Comptroller Brad Lander have ties to AOC “clone” Tiffany Caban that makes me say NO to and should be a NO for you.
Speaking of Comptroller, it’s really a race between City Council Speaker Corey Johnson and State Senator Brian Benjamin. Any republican candidate running is a “no name” candidate that is nothing more than a “benchwarmer.” Whoever wins the Democratic primary in June will be the next Comptroller. This is the person budgeting all of your money and what businesses benefit from his decisions. Don’t ignore this race!
I personally like Assemblyman David Weprin. He is the most moderate of the group. He also is a personal friend to many reading this, including myself. If all of the Jews in all five boroughs worked together— perhaps we could make an impact on this primary race.
On the Republican side, it is also a mess. The choice in the primary is between two candidates, Curtis Sliwa and Fernando Mateo. In most cases, the choice would be obvious. Sliwa has a long history of standing with Jews. He was standing in Brooklyn with us last summer when both the mayor and governor targeted the orthodox neighborhoods of Crown Heights, Flatbush and Borough Park.
I honored him in 2015 at a forum I ran on Long Island for his support for Israel. However, there are several negative issues surrounding his campaign. He just became a republican after his Reform Party fell apart and is partly responsible for the reelection of Bill DeBlasio. He is a strong opponent of President Trump and many of us still support Trump and his policies. He is petitioning with Vickie Paladino of the Whitestone Republican Club. She is an extremely flawed candidate as her history has been published internationally. You can do your own research or ask her opponents for the facts.
Sliwa is not endorsed by the Manhattan, Queens and Bronx Counties. Why the split? It leads many to wonder, especially when the leader in Manhattan is Andrea Casimatidis, whose father owns WABC radio and where Sliwa hosted a radio show, why he did not get her support, especially after her father seems to support Sliwa.
There are a few lesser known candidates running.
City Council Races
Every borough has City Council races. Officially endorsed is Councilman Robert Holden. This man has proven himself!
There is one City Council race that a Republican is expected to win. That is the race in the 32th district of Queens. Joann Ariola, current Queens County Chair, is expected to win the seat currently held by Eric Ulrich. Ariola has a proven record of fighting anti-Semitism, working with Democrats in a productive bipartisan manner and has the power as Secretary of the New York State Republican Party to make her voice strong not only in her district, but statewide.
In Brooklyn, I am making a rare exception and endorsing a Democrat, Heshy Tischler in District 48.
Are you surprised? Honestly, so am I.
Like many of you Tischler gives a first impression of being a “mashugana.” I was not a fan.
However, we are living in pre-Holocaust times. Anti-Semitism is growing in both parties. We need Jewish Partisans.
The Jews of Europe thought the first to warn and fight the Nazis were mashuganas too. They tried to ignore the signs of what was to come by claiming it was a phase or it wouldn’t spread. By the time these mashuganas were taken seriously, it was too late.
Nobody fought harder against the anti-Semitism this summer from both Mayor DeBlasio and Governor Cuomo than Heshy Tischler. We need Jewish partisans. We need people who have a history of running a business. We need people like Heshy who have a history of not only helping Jews, but others in his neighborhood.
There is a lot of information here that will be continued in my next article that will focus on more citywide races and candidates and feature the elections on Long Island.
If you have any questions about your local race or if you like my analysis, you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am pleased to announce that Jewish Vote GOP will be hosting a virtual meeting in April with Congresswoman Lauren Boebert of Colorado, a strong supporter of Israel and the Jewish people. You can sign up at the email address above.
You can now hear me weekly on Cindy’s Celebrity Corner, my new radio show on 620AM or 1640 AM Saturday nights at 9PM ET.