Jewish Candidates Skip New York Mayor's Race, But Crowd Vies in Los Angeles

Rare No-Jew Race in Gotham as Trio Aims for History in Calif.


By Josh Nathan-Kazis

Published February 19, 2013, issue of February 22, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

New York City and Los Angeles will both elect new mayors this year. One city will likely pick a Jew. The other will not.

Think you know which city is which?

New York seems primed for another Jewish mayor. Three of the past five have been Jewish, including the current mayor, Michael Bloomberg, and the recently deceased Ed Koch. Nearly every mayoral race in recent memory has included a Jewish candidate. This is New York, after all.

Yet in 2013, not a single one of the handful of front-runners vying to replace Bloomberg is Jewish.

Los Angeles, meanwhile, has had plenty of Jewish elected officials, but never a Jewish mayor. Now, both of the leading candidates for the office are Jews. Another top contender is married to a Jew and says she herself is interested in converting.

So are the Jews of New York losing their touch? Is the weight of Jewish political power shifting west?

Well, probably not.

“Some of it is simply quirky stuff,” said Raphael Sonenshein, a political scientist and executive director of the Pat Brown Institute at California State University, Los Angeles.

New York City’s mayoral race, for instance, would have looked rather different had former congressman Anthony Weiner not accidentally Tweeted a close-up photo of his briefs (with him inside them) in June 2011.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • From Gene Simmons to Pink — Meet the Jews who rock:
  • The images, which have since been deleted, were captioned: “Israel is the last frontier of the free world."
  • As J Street backs Israel's operation in Gaza, does it risk losing grassroots support?
  • What Thomas Aquinas might say about #Hamas' tunnels:
  • The Jewish bachelorette has spoken.
  • "When it comes to Brenda Turtle, I ask you: What do you expect of a woman repressed all her life who suddenly finds herself free to explore? We can sit and pass judgment, especially when many of us just simply “got over” own sexual repression. But we are obliged to at least acknowledge that this problem is very, very real, and that complete gender segregation breeds sexual repression and unhealthy attitudes toward female sexuality."
  • "Everybody is proud of the resistance. No matter how many people, including myself, disapprove of or even hate Hamas and its ideology, every single person in Gaza is proud of the resistance." Part 2 of Walid Abuzaid's on-the-ground account of life in #Gaza:
  • After years in storage, Toronto’s iconic red-and-white "Sam the Record Man" sign, complete with spinning discs, will return to public view near its original downtown perch. The sign came to symbolize one of Canada’s most storied and successful Jewish family businesses.
  • Is $4,000 too much to ask for a non-member to be buried in a synagogue cemetery?
  • "Let’s not fall into the simplistic us/them dichotomy of 'we were just minding our business when they started firing rockets at us.' We were not just minding our business. We were building settlements, manning checkpoints, and filling jails." What do you think?
  • PHOTOS: 10,000 Israel supporters gathered for a solidarity rally near the United Nations in New York yesterday.
  • Step into the Iron Dome with Tuvia Tenenbom.
  • What do you think of Wonder Woman's new look?
  • "She said that Ruven Barkan, a Conservative rabbi, came into her classroom, closed the door and turned out the lights. He asked the class of fourth graders to lie on the floor and relax their bodies. Then, he asked them to pray for abused children." Read Paul Berger's compelling story about a #Savannah community in turmoil:
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.