By midnight, the precinct-by-precinct numbers stretched across the length of the wall at Melinda Katz’s campaign headquarters. But one of her most seasoned campaign workers honed in on a mere handful from Far Rockaway and Howard Beach.
“Look over there,” he said. “That’s where the election was lost.”The crucial returns, from the 23rd Assembly District, a collection of mostly Irish and Italian neighborhoods, and a sprinkling of Jews, were from Katz’s own geographic base in Queens, where she serves as a state Assembly member.
Like the candidate, the audience was Orthodox and likely to be staunch in its defense of Israel. So Noach Dear lost no time in making his pitch explicit.
“We have how many shomer Shabbos politicians?” he asked the Sunday morning bagels-and-cream-cheese crowd gathered to hear him at the Young Israel of Far Rockaway last month, using the term for Sabbath observers. Touting his campaign to represent them in Congress, Dear urged, “This is a way to contribute to the community.”
Democratic State Assemblyman Dov Hikind says he wants to be a congressman. A Republican congressman. Hikind, a lifelong Democrat with a penchant for endorsing Republican candidates, said this week he is seriously considering throwing his hat into the ring on the Republican line for the Ninth Congressional District seat being vacated by longtime Democratic Rep. Charles Schumer, who represents parts of southern Brooklyn and Queens.
I’m excited about it,” Hikind said. “I will definitely make a decision by next week.”
Four City Council members are passing up the chance to run an easy race for re-election this year — a right they recently gained through term-limit changes — to run for city comptroller, arguably one of the toughest city jobs in this struggling economic climate.
Democrats Melinda Katz, John Liu, David Weprin, all of Queens, and Brooklyn’s David Yassky, will face off in September’s primary, with the winner almost assured victory in November. There is not yet a Republican candidate. Incumbent William Thompson is running for mayor.