Hikind Working To Push Out Greenfield from NYC Council Race

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hikind-and-huckabeeChris Bragg reports: None of the three prospective candidates lives in the New York City Council district, but another elected official who does is trying to determine which of them gets to replace Council Member Simcha Felder.

Assembly Member Dov Hikind, an influential powerbroker in the Jewish Orthodox community of Boro Park, is seeking to use his influence to narrow the field of candidates who are planning to run in the special election, expected for sometime in March.

Hikind said he is trying to dissuade either Joe Lazar, a longtime local government official, or former Council Member Noach Dear, a Brooklyn Civil Court judge, from running because he fears they could split the Boro Park vote, and hand the election to David Greenfield, the founder of Teach NYS.

Greenfield has tangled with Hikind and Hikind ally Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver in recent years.

“That’s the goal of everybody, to be united [against Greenfield],” Hikind said.

Greenfield has already declared that he will run for Felder’s seat, and is seen as the strongest candidate in Council district’s neighborhoods outside of Boro Park. If multiple Boro Park candidates run against Greenfield, this would give Greenfield a leg up in the special election, Hikind said.

Greenfield served as Hikind’s chief of staff from 2001-2004. But political insiders say Greenfield is more independent of the Boro Park political establishment than other potential candidates in the race and represents a threat to Hikind’s influence.

“Dov has a tremendous disdain for the fact that Greenfield does and says whatever he wants,” said one political insider in the neighborhood, who is not affiliated with any campaign.

Hikind declined to comment on the reasons why he opposes Greenfield.

Thursday morning, Hikind is expected hold a meeting with Lazar where the two will discuss whether Lazar will stay in the race, Lazar confirmed.

“I’m meeting with Dov, and I really need to talk with Noach as well to see what’s going on,” said Lazar. “It is my intention to run, but I need to see what’s going on.”

Several political insiders in the neighborhood said they expected Hikind to ask Lazar to drop out of the race. Lazar is extremely close to Hikind and likely would drop out if asked by the Assembly member, said several people close to the situation.

Dear, meanwhile, is a near-lock to run for the seat whether Hikind wants him to run or not, said several neighborhood insiders. Dear also would likely be a more viable candidate than Lazar, given his two decades of building name recognition as a Council member in the 80’s and 90’s, they said.

Hikind, however, said he had no intention of asking Lazar to step aside at the meeting, and said that his goal is simply to get a single candidate running against Greenfield-whether Lazar or Dear.

Meanwhile, it struck some Greenfield supporters as odd that Hikind would go to such lengths to thwart Greenfield’s political ambitions.

“That’s fascinating,” said Council Member Lew Fidler. “David used to be [Hikind’s] chief-of-staff, so I don’t know what category to put that in.”

Though Greenfield does not have Hikind’s support, he is not lacking for endorsements. He has already privately lined up the support of Kings County Democratic Party Leader Vito Lopez, State Sens. Carl Kruger and Marty Golden and Council Members Domenic Recchia, a source close to the Greenfield campaign said.

Greenfield said that he was not concerned about who would be running against him and that he is planning on making Hikind’s brand of old-school politics a talking point in the campaign.

“This is the exact type of backroom, smoke-filled room politics that I’m running against,” Greenfield said. “This backroom deal-making is not going to select the City Council candidate.”

{CityHallNews/Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. Go HIKIND!!!

    Let’s get JOE in there, or maybe Pinny Ringel (if he is going to finally announce if he is running or not!)

  2. I have never agreed so much with Hikind as now. The Gantze Maaseh with $80 million for Yeshivas are air and wind. GMG gornisht mit gornisht.

    I don’t want to see Noach Dear running. Joe Lazar too.

    Between all these candidates probably Noach Dear who knows the community best and knows his way around politics, would serve the community best.

  3. Dov Hikind is a proven leader who has always served us well. He has our interests in mind. Never did anyone ever call his office with a need and was not fully helped.

  4. I have personally known David Greenfield for over a decade, going back to the days when he was a student at Touro College where he was the valedictorian of his graduating class, and then a law student at Georgetown University.

    David is HONEST, he’s genuinely kind, always ready to do favors when asked without any expectation of getting something in return. David is above all the politics of these politicians and he really cares about, and is committed to, the klall. And I have seen people ask him for help and his first question isn’t “which district do you live in?”

  5. I happen to follow politics and I have been watching the boro park races the last couple of years. Hikind has no say on the general public .so I don’t know if his wishes have any wheight, plus the oilam is angry at him buy going to the media when there are issue within the community (vdal). He is always busy with Israeli politics and forgets whom he is representing
    Now regarding the candidates. Lets look at their record of helping out the mosdos the last couple of years .I know many children that just started getting help through the ‘no child left behind program’ that David Greenfield worked tirelessly without pay and brought this services to all the mosdos hatorah.
    It unbelievable what he accomplished. The other candidates I don’t see nothing near to this on there record.

  6. What they don’t like is that David Greenfield was able to raise enough money for his campaign without needing them — because he has many, many friends and is so well-liked by people who are ready to put their money where their mouth is.

    Therefore, Greenfield is truly independent and will stand up for our community’s Jewish values. Nor will he have to kiss up to other private interests or sell the community out. The only one he will answer to is his own constituents and conscience.

    David Greenfield is part of a new generation of leaders who are our hope and future.

  7. Greenfield should be given a chance. He
    will focus on local needs: transportation for
    yeshivas, tuition, tutoring for students.

    Local issues are important. He also
    has a good track record.


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