The appointment this week of Simcha Felder as deputy comptroller has created some drama in the outgoing councilman’s Borough Park district.
News that Felder will serve only days of the third term he won last November has reignited a race that was postponed when term limits were extended in 2008.
David Greenfield, director of the Sephardic Community Federation, who seemed to break speed records at fundraising, has announced he’ll once again seek to succeed Felder.
“I’ve been preparing for this race since 2007,” said Greenfield, who has already raised more than the spending limit of $160,000 imposed by the city’s Campaign Finance Board in order to qualify for matching funds. “I’m going to run a great race and I believe I’m thebest person to advocate for residents of the 44th Council District.”
Joseph Lazar, a former regional director of the state’s Office of Mental Health who threw his hat in the ring last year but, like Greenfield, later declined to challenge Felder, said on Tuesday he has “every intention of running” but would not make an official announcement until after Felder officially resigns. He said he had about $115,000 raised, “which is more than anyone needs for a City Council race.”
And the Daily News reported that Noach Dear, who held the Borough Park-Flatbush City Council seat from 1983-2001 was assessing support for another run. Now a court judge, Dear did not respond to a message left at his chambers seeking comment. While easily elected in the council district during his tenure, he also ran unsuccessful bids for Congress in 1998 and state Senate in 2002.
Since none of the three hopefuls lives within the boundaries of the district, as redrawn in 2001, each would have to move before the election date, which will be announced by Mayor Michael Bloomberg and must take place within 45 days of the vacancy.
Yeruchim Silber, a Brooklyn political consultant and former City Council aide, said Dear would be a “very formidable candidate because of his name recognition, and in a special election that means a lot. But Greenfield is also well known because of his weekly podcast [on politics] on the Yeshiva World blog, which thousands of people listen to.”
Assemblyman Dov Hikind, who represents roughly the same district, said he would not support Greenfield, his former chief of staff, and declined to say why, adding that discussions were under way among leaders in the community to find a consensus.
“We’re hoping for a united community,” said Hikind, who hosted Dear on his radio program two weeks ago. He said Dear would be a strong candidate, but that “it would be a big move for him to give up something definite,” meaning the Civil Court term with eight years remaining.
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