Mindy Meyer is a 22-year-old Orthodox law student who went to Prospect Park Yeshiva in Brooklyn, wears knee-length skirts — and is running for New York state Senate.
Her website, pink and flashy, incorporates glitter and leopard print. Campaign slogan? “I’m Senator and I know it.”
“I’m trying to appeal to the younger population,” explains Meyer of her campaign. “I went to all the other senators’ websites and by the end I fell asleep. No wonder young people aren’t voting.”
She explains that Elle Woods, the pink-loving heroine of “Legally Blonde,” inspired her to choose the background theme color for her website.
“Elle Woods taught me that you can take pink and bring it to the highest levels of sophistication,” says Meyer.
Despite the flash, Meyer, who is running on the Republican and Conservative party lines, insists she is no joke. “I mean business, and I’m serious about this,” she says earnestly.
Others might disagree. On a page titled Diva of the District, Meyer lists the various issues on her platform, including “Poverty & Unemployment,” “Stop & Frisk,” (not a fan), “School Choice” (Mindy vouches for vouchers!), and “Crime” (she’s going to crack down on it). She also vows to end hunger, posing as “Hunger Games” heroine Katniss Everdeen to make her point.
What about the fact that she kind of like has no experience?
“I just got the endorsement last week, and everything is new,” admits Meyer. “But I’ve gotten a lot of support.”
Meyer believes her Jewish identity will help her in her campaign and in providing a spiritual compass. But she admits not all her Jewish constituents agree that she should be running.
“I’m the only Orthodox girl to run for office, and obviously it’s controversial,” says Meyer. “Some people say this is not where women should be. But if I’m serious, passionate, and ambitious, why not do what I can to help everyone else?”
Meyer’s energy and youthful appeal might be her best selling point as a Republican candidate with no prior experience in public office. She’s running in the 21st district, a predominantly Democratic district that was recently re-drawn and now includes fewer Jews.
The incumbent is veteran political figure Democrat Kevin Parker, who defeated Noach Dear, a Jew, to take the seat in 2002. Meyer believes she has a strong chance of winning and cites Parker’s own well-documented issues.
Parker was accused of confronting a traffic agent in 2005 and slapping a newspaper reporter in 2009. He also got into a Twitter feud with an Orthodox Jew in March.
“Kevin Parker has been an incumbent for 10 years,” Meyer says of her opponent. “He keeps getting re-elected and he hasn’t done anything. Maybe people want a young, fresh, innovative face.”