By and overwhelming margin, David Greenfield won the Special Election for Brooklyn City Council on March 23rd. “We won every single neighborhood in the district,” a victorious Greenfield said after the election. The executive director of the Sephardic Community Federation, and Director of Teach NYS, won by a huge 18 point advantage. The victory sent a message throughout Brooklyn, Greenfield added. “They’re hearing the sounds of people coming together instead of being pushed apart. This seat does not belong to political power brokers, it does not belong to the special interests. It belongs to the people of this community.”
About 58 percent of the voters voted in favor of Greenfield, 40 percent of the votes went to Joe Lazar, and Kenneth Rice, the Republican candidate, grabbed the remaining votes.
Unofficial Election Results
David Greenfield 7,070 votes 57.84%
Joe Lazar 4,842 votes 39.61%
Kenneth Rice 311 votes 2.54%
Total 12,223 votes 99.9%
Greenfield was endorsed by a host of public officials including Mayor Michael Bloomberg, former Mayor Ed Koch, Senator Joe Lieberman, Congressman Mike McMahon, NY Senators Marty Golden and Carl Kruger, NY City Council Finance Chair Domenic Recchia and Councilmen Lewis Fidler, Michael Nelson and Vincent Gentile. Outgoing City Councilman Simcha Felder, who vacated the seat to accept a post as Deputy Comptroller for Budget and Accounting of the City of New York, declined to endorse either candidate.
The wide margin of victory was surprising to many who expected a close race coming into election day. The difference may largely have been due to Greenfield’s strong history of advocacy for education and school choice. According to a Yeshiva World News report on March 23rd, “A number of Brooklyn yeshivas, whose leadership had been supportive of Joe Lazar, abandoned his candidacy after learning that Lazar accepted the backing of the United Federation of Teachers (UFT), a group that has publicly opposed government funding for yeshivas and has consistently leads the fight against any plans to help yeshiva parents.”
The impressive margin of victory was also thought to be due to higher than expected voter turnout. Overall voter turnout for the March 23rd election was 12,223. While this is about 33 percent less than the November 2009 election turnout of 18,222, it was a relatively impressive showing for a Special Election in the 44thCouncil District.
Greenfield will serve as City Councilman for the remainder of 2010 and would need to run again in the November 2010 elections to retain the seat.