NEW YORK (VINnews) — New York City Councilman Chaim Deutsch has announced that he will run for Congress in New York’s 9th District, become the latest Democrat to issue a primary challenge to incumbent Rep. Yvette Clark, according to a report in The Forward.
Deutsch, who represents Brighton Beach and Sheepshead Bay in Brooklyn, would be the only Orthodox Jew in Congress if elected. His term as councilman is scheduled to end in 2021, when term limits will prohibit him from running for that seat again.
“My parents survived the Holocaust and came to America with nothing except hope in their hearts. They taught me to be selfless & help others,” Deutch wrote in a tweet. “I’m running for US Congress to carry on their legacy. I’m proud to live in #NY9, & I hope to earn my neighbors vote.”
Deutsch filed a statement of candidacy Tuesday with the Federal Election Commission. His official campaign committee will be called “Chaim for Congress.”
Later Tuesday, Deutsch released a statement announcing his candidacy, saying, “Public service is in my blood – it is how I was raised and it is how I have lived my life. For the past six years, it has been my honor to represent the 48th district in the City Council, one of the most diverse districts in NYC, advocating for my constituents every single day. It is with this same spirit & passion that I pursue this new opportunity in Congress. I am proud to live and raise my family in NY-9, and I believe every one of my neighbors deserve a tireless advocate on their behalf.”
Deutsch describes himself as a “conservative Democrat,” and has been criticized by fellow Democrats for opposing plans to close the Rikers Island prison and opposing a bill to ban LGBTQ “conversion therapy,” the Brooklyn Paper reported. He also opposes New York state’s new bail reform laws, which were championed by progressives.
Deutsch will try to unseat Clark in the 2020 primary, scheduled for June 23. Clark has served in Congress since 2007.