Democrats May Back Challenger To Simcha Felder — Or Boot Him
Democrats will consider moves to back a primary challenge against turncoat state Sen. Simcha Felder — or even boot him out of the party.
The party’s convention this week will vote on unusual measures to support an opponent to Felder in his heavily Jewish Brooklyn district because he has effectively been serving as a Republican.
Or they might even start a move to oust Felder, who votes with the GOP and gives them a 32-31 advantage in the evenly split chamber.
Party chief Geoff Berman told the New York Post that both resolutions will be on the agenda.
Felder told the NY State of Politics site that he is “humbled” by Democrats’ focus on him.
“Most of my constituents, who are Democrats, are more than OK with what I am doing,” he told the site.
Felder also suggested, perhaps with tongue in cheek, that Democrats could solve the problem by naming him to replace disgraced Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
Felder has already drawn a challenge from attorney Blake Morris, who calls himself a progressive community activist.
Insiders are skeptical of efforts to unseat Felder, who he has never faced a serious challenge in the district, which was drawn to include Orthodox and Hasidic Jewish neighborhoods in Midwood and Boro Park.
Expelling Felder from the party would be a complicated process and might drive Orthodox voters into the hands of the GOP.
Felder runs on both Republican and Democratic lines. There is more of a spotlight on him since a separate rump group of eight so-called independent Democrats stopped caucusing with Republicans.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he backs efforts to primary Felder, but he has also engaged in on-and-off efforts to lure him back into the Democratic fold.
With liberal sentiment running high, Democrats are hoping to win several GOP-held seats on Long Island and upstate in November, which would strip Felder of his kingmaker status.