Brooklyn, NY – Hikind Pushes Hard To Box Out Greenfield

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    Top: Lazar, Dear, GreenfiledBrooklyn, NY – None of the three prospective candidates lives in the 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.”

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    35 COMMENTS

      • Hikind’s primary interest is Hikind and retaining his political chits. Since he has decided to quit to promote his own personal interests, he should keep his nose out of the process and let all the candidates who are interested have an opportunity to run.

    1. greenfield will take bp as well- he is a rising star
      dear although a decent guy has NO CHANCE for many reasons, hes not connected to the young ” machers”
      joe lazar- is really out of the headlines

    2. i hear that the only community that is going to support noach dear is belz that approx 400 votes…i hear everyone else is going to support david greenfeld the flabush syrian community and the yeshivish community

      • it cant be belz has a major fight with dov hikind from the last election belz came on fast and went fast they lost their credabilty the last election with the boro park community they misled us on voting for a looser that had no chance of winning and it hurt the whole community as i hear he is not interested in our agendas at all thanks to belz

    3. Rabosi this election is going to cost a half a million of yiddeshe gelt, WHY????
      Why can’t we have one candidate that we all agree and not waste so much money when all our mosdos are in dire need of $$$?

    4. David is a sincere and honest person, and I think he would be a great advocate for our community. I’ve dealt with him on non-political matters and was impressed by his devotion to helping others.

    5. Thank You Dov and your wonderful staff especially your chief of staff for looking out for all of US I cant agree more on this issue thanks for your guidence as always

    6. 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?”

    7. Joe Lazar is a big tzaddik, not a politician. He truely loves to help people. That is what all the Jewish communities need, including Chassidish, Yeshivish, Syrian…He will care about everyone and not one group. I know him very well for many years. He runs to do Chessed also for those without money, big votes, or political connections. True AHAVAS YIROEL.

    8. Raboisai…Wake up!!
      Joe and Noach are wondeful askonim for our community and also have great hearts….BUT, this isn’t about how much chesed a person does. This is about POLITICS and David Greenfield; aside from all the great chesed he does…clearly is the leader in making changes for our communities to help us all. Education,healthcare and even transportation!

      Good Shabbos

    9. Knowing David for over 20 years has been an honor and a privilege. Giving up a prestigious job at one of the best law firms was not even a question when the opportunity came up to get involved in politics. It’s about time someone like David represents us. Politics is not a game and David realizes and understands that. These jaded politicians are all the same. They lose sight of what their real job is, they forget their promises. David wants what’s right, and that is to make sure that our voices are heard.

    10. Kind of ironic… David Greenfield gave up his position at one of the top NY law firms with a very, very cushy salary when Dov Hikind asked him to work for him instead and be his chief of staff.

      It’s hard for the old guard to pass the baton but David is part of the new generation that inspires us all with hope.

    11. Can someone explain to me why after receiving criticism for running for a third term
      that Mayor Bloomberg went after, Simcha Felder is giving up the council seat to go to
      work in the Comptrollers office. It seems odd to me that he took so much flak and
      now turns his back and takes a different job. An explanation would be nice. Thank
      you.

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