Kiryas Joel, NJ - Report: Satmar’s Political Power Viewed As Waning
Kiryas Joel, NY - Visiting Kiryas Joel – a village in Orange County with a population of 20,000, many of whom are under the age of 12 – has long been a must for both local and national candidates seeking elected office. With its high voter-turnout rate, the Satmar contingent is viewed as wielding tremendous political power and influence.
But recently, Satmar’s influence as a vital voting bloc has waned owing to the ongoing feud between brothers, Rabbis Aaron Teitelbaum and Zalman Teitelbaum, according to a report in the Crain’s Insider (http://bit.ly/W5SKOe).
Some political operatives claim that the Satmar community has less political currency and value to politicians when adherents of the two brothers vote for opposing candidates because their votes simply cancel each other out. But others allege that supporting different candidates is a positive politically for the two factions since it forces candidates to court both groups for their votes.
The Kiryas Joel vote was split in the last two Congressional elections. In the most recent election cycle, Republican incumbent Nan Hayworth earned 3,335 votes in the unofficial tally compared with Democrat Sean Patrick Maloney’s 1,518 votes. Mr. Maloney ultimately emerged victorious in that race.
Republican Assemblywoman Annie Rabbitt, whose new district includes the Village of New Square, said this past election was the second time Kiryat Joel deliberately voted against her in attempt to oust her from office. “KJ fully bloc voted against myself,” she told the Mid-Hudson News (http://bit.ly/RAY3pc). Still, the Assemblywoman won her re-election bid and said she intends to fully represent all of her constituents in the new legislative session.
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