Former Councilman Simcha Felder has announced a bid for the state Senate in a newly created district that includes several heavily Orthodox Brooklyn neighborhoods. “I look forward, God willing, to the opportunity once again to serve the community and the people of New York State,” Felder told the haredi newspaper Hamodia on Wednesday.
State Republicans hope the district will help them hold onto or widen their majority in the state's upper house, now divided 32-30 with the Democrats. The district includes areas that elected a Republican, Bon Turner, to Congress in a special election last year.
Felder is currently a New York City deputy comptroller under John Liu. Once seen as a strong contender for mayor, Liu has seen his political fortunes fall because of fundraising irregularities that led to the arrest of his campaign treasurer.
Felder ran for Senate once before in Flatbush in 2006 but lost the Democratic primary to the incumbent, Kevin Parker. Felder was elected to the City Council in 2001 and re-elected twice, but resigned shortly after winning his third term to take the job with Liu.
The man who succeeded Felder in the Council, David Greenfield, has been an ardent opponent of the Super District, saying it is essentially a Jewish "ghetto" that dilutes the community's power by removing voters from surrounding districts.