They might not claim to be worth 11,000 votes, but, in an increasingly feisty Democratic primary, their votes could still matter quite a bit.
After much internal debate, the Aaronite Satmar sect—the smaller of two Jewish communities that tend to bloc-vote in Williambsurg—have decided to back front-runner Bill de Blasio in the mayor’s race, according to Satmar sources and confirmed by Mr. de Blasio’s campaign.
As a yarmulke-wearing Bill Thompson showed on a muggy Monday night, the road to victory in the mayor’s race may be partially paved by men with frock coats and billowing beards.
The ex-comptroller met with some influential rabbis to earn their blessings and, more importantly, the votes they potentially carry. Nibbling on rugelach and sipping alcohol, Mr. Thompson schmoozed with five leaders from various religious sects spanning Williamsburg and Boro Park, where burgeoning Orthodox Jewish populations are looking to make a dent in next Tuesday’s election.
For much of the rest of the week, Hasidic rabbis will be praying during Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, making the night a unique opportunity for Mr. Thompson as the September 10 Democratic primary looms just one week away.
Anyone who follows northern Brooklyn politics enough quickly learns that there is an incredibly sharp political divide between the two rival factions in Hasidic Williamsburg, where the larger faction favors candidates backed by Brooklyn’s Democratic leader Vito Lopez and the smaller one favors candidates he opposes. With both factions turning out in record numbers in last Tuesday’s election where incumbent Rep. Nydia Velázquez thumped the Lopez-backed candidacy of Councilman Erik Dilan, that smaller faction decided to take a small victory lap today.
In a press release blasted out by George Arzt Communications, the same firm that worked for Ms. Velázquez’s campaign, Rabbi Moshe Indig, a power broker in the the “Aroni” Satmar sect, declared his faction’s ongoing success over Mr. Lopez.