Local politico Kalman Yeger, who is rumored to be running against freshman Councilman Chaim Deutsch (D–Sheepshead Bay), and recently registered as an undeclared candidate with the city’s campaign finance board, is already hosting fund-raisers and gaining support from community leaders — including his possible opponent’s former boss, ex-Councilman Michael Nelson.
About 100 people gathered at Essen kosher deli on Coney Island Avenue on May 3 to show their support for Yeger. Among them were Councilman David Greenfield (D–Midwood), Councilman Alan Maisel (D–Marine Park), former Councilman Lew Fidler, and Nelson. Deutsch had worked for Nelson before taking over his term-limited seat in 2013.
And Nelson had supported Deutsch four years ago, so it doesn’t go unnoticed that he’s now schmoozing with Yeger at a fund-raiser, according to one Democratic insider. But another Democratic source said Nelson showing his face means nothing, and he still plans to endorse Deutsch for his re-election campaign.
Sheepshead Bay district leaders Ari Kagan — who also ran against Deutsch in 2013 — and Margarita Kagan, along with Russian Radio show host Gregory Davidzon, endorsed Deutsch for re-election last week.
The two candidates are not, as previously printed, technically cousins, by the way. They are cousin-in-laws — Deutsch’s wife is cousins with Yeger.
Deutsch also wanted to clarify how much outside income he rakes in as the president of his Brooklyn-based real estate company, Chasa Management. We previously reported Deutsch makes an additional $249K annually, but he said it’s closer to $130,000, though it varies every year.
Yeger — who did not return requests for comment, and has until June 12 to declare which office he is running for — took to the social media platform Twitter to thank the other politicos for their support.
“Incredibly grateful for the outpouring of support and the packed room last night at my first fund-raiser!” he tweeted on May 4.
Nelson could not be reached for comment.
The winner of the September Democratic primary will face Republican Steve Saperstein in the November general election.
• • •
Billionaire supermarket mogul John Catsimatidis — who ran for mayor in 2013 — bowed out of the race to replace Mayor DeBlasio he was never officially in, and a few days later announced his support for his friend, Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R–Bay Ridge), paving the way for her to go head-to-head with millionaire real estate developer Paul Massey for the Grand Old Party nomination.
“Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis is a talented and strong Republican woman. With her immigrant roots and her Cuban and Greek heritage, she can relate to so many New Yorkers who are reaching for the American Dream,” Catsimatidis wrote in a statement on May 5. “Her experience in the state legislature, her energy and her understanding of the issues make her a great candidate for Mayor.”
Malliotakis — who is taking heat for her uncertainty on whether her father immigrated to the United States legally after staking out a position as a staunch critic of sanctuary cities and suing the city to stop it from destroying IDNYC records from undocumented immigrants — welcomes her friend’s support, she said in a statement.
“I am humbled and grateful to my friend and mentor, John Catsimatdis, for his support of my campaign for Mayor of New York City. John embodies all that is good about New York. He is a brilliant businessman and philanthropist, and he is respected by everyone for his love of New York City,” said Malliotakis. “John Catsimadis’s support and guidance will be invaluable to me, both on the campaign trail and when I reach City Hall.”
Malliotakis, who said she plans to join the city’s matching funds program, challenges Massey in the GOP primary. Former candidate Rev. Michel Faulkner dropped out of the mayoral race to run against Scott Stringer for comptroller, and Fox News pundit Bo Dietl did not get Republican party support to run on the party line.
• • •
The next Speaker could be from Brooklyn!
Councilman Jumaane Williams (D–Midwood) officially threw his hat in the ring to replace term-limited Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito (D–Manhattan) in 2018.
Williams told a roomful of constituents during his State of the District address at Andries Hudde Junior High School on May 10 that he is the best candidate for the job with his experience dealing with many diverse issues in his district, including police reform and housing.
“I’m calling on all of you to support me in my upcoming re-election as your representative in the City Council, and also, hopefully with the help of you and my colleagues, as the next City Council Speaker,” he said to loud applause. “I can be your voice — I have a strong record of pragmatically dealing with controversial issues while respecting all sides.”
Williams would be the city’s first Speaker from Brooklyn, but first he will likely face City Hall’s tallest legislator, 6-foot-10 Councilman Robert Cornegy (D–Bed Stuy) in the battle for the seat.