Sheepshead Councilman eyes fellow Dem’s congressional seat

chaim deutsch
Chaim Deutsch is reportedly eyeing a run for Congress.
Photo by Chaim Deutsch

Sheepshead Bay’s Democratic City Councilman Chaim Deutsch is considering a bid for United States Congress, which would pit him against incumbant Democratic Rep. Yvette Clark, according to a report from Gay City News.

Clarke, whose district spans a large portion of Kings County — including Park Slope, Sheepshead Bay, Midwood, and Flatbush — was first elected to the lower chamber of the nation’s legislative branch in 2006, and narrowly won a primary reelection to progressive challenger Adem Bunkeddeko during the June 2018 primary elections. 

Deutsch’s candidacy would present a starkly different type of opponent for Clarke, having described himself as a “conservative Democrat,” and racking up a voting record that has angered many within the activist wing of the party. 

Recently, for example, Deutsch drew criticism from some left-leaning voters for opposing pro-LGBT policies — including a bill that would outright ban conversion therapy in the five boroughs, arguing that people should have a “choice,” according to Gay City News. 

Deutsch also opposed the Mayor’s scheme to close Rikers Island prison complex and transfer detainees to smaller jails spread across the city — which nonetheless passed the City Council in October. 

The orthodox Jewish politician also garnered headlines last month when he joined protesters in Gravesend in calling for the resignation of a Community Education Council 22 board member who referred to Asian students as “yellow” in an email thread that circulated to parental boards throughout the city. 

Deutsch was first elected to the 48th Council district — which encompasses Sheepshead Bay, Manhattan Beach, Brighton Beach, and Midwood — in 2013, and later won re-election in 2017.

Now, Deutsch is barred by term-limits from seeking another term in the Council, and is eyeing a seat in the nation’s legislature, according to an elected official who spoke to Gay City News under the condition of anonymity. 

He has yet to file with the Federal Election Commission as of Thursday, but the unnamed official told Gay City News that Deutsch spoke of his prospective candidacy during an event on Dec. 5.

Council Deutsch declined to comment on his potential candidacy.