Earlier today, former Councilman Simcha Felder got a big boost to his recently announced State Senate campaign with the formal endorsement of the two most prominent elected officials in Brooklyn’s Orthodox Jewish community: Councilman David Greenfield and Assemblyman Dov Hikind. Their endorsements were expected, as Mr. Hikind and Mr. Greenfield had already been extraordinarily effusive in their praise, more of which was generously heaped onto Mr. Felder today as well.
“He is a dear friend, you might say I love the guy,” Mr. Hikind said about the candidate, for example, as a small army of Orthodox community leaders surrounding the officials applauded the endorsements.
“When someone is a Grinch, when someone’s a bad person they say he’s someone who has a heart two sizes too small. Simcha Felder has a heart that’s two sizes too large,” Mr. Greenfield said for his part, referencing the famous Dr. Seuss tale.
Although Mr. Greenfield, Mr. Hikind, and Mr. Felder are all registered Democrats, the district’s Orthodox Jewish electorate is rather conservative and a Democratic candidate could theoretically vow to caucus with Republican Majority Leader Dean Skelos if elected. And, despite the best efforts of multiple reporters after the event, it was not possible to get Mr. Felder on the record about whether he will caucus with the Democrats or the Republicans should he be elected.
“I’ll be happy to answer your questions at my own press conference, today I’m happy to take the endorsement of two elected officials,” Mr. Felder answered when directly asked which party he will ultimately side with. He later repeated his answer that he would be willing to answer the (rather important) question at a later date.
For what it’s worth, sources gave City & State mixed signals on his partisan loyalty, suggesting he’ll side with the Democrats unless his vote is crucial, while Yossi Gestetner reported Mr. Skelos is backing Mr. Felder.
If Mr. Skelos does indeed provide his endorsement to the Democrat, it’d be a very notable move as there are multiple GOP candidates also vowing to run, including one, David Storobin, who might run as the incumbent. Another candidate, attorney Nachman Caller, is in the Republican field as well.
Watch the press conference below: