Friday, June 04, 2021
Eric Adams, the front-runner in the race for mayor of New York City according to recent polls, had some harsh words Thursday for the Orthodox voting blocs supporting his rival Andrew Yang, who is in second place, not far behind Adams.
In a meeting with the leadership of the Flatbush Jewish Community Coalition, a local Orthodox political group founded in 2013, Adams suggested that Orthodox voting blocs are mistakenly falling for the "false promises" Yang made while courting their vote. Adams has been making inroads in the Orthodox community in recent weeks.
"If someone can come in, out of nowhere, give you false promises and just say anything, and all of a sudden take away a long relationship with you, that's going to send a bad message," said Adams, the Brooklyn borough president, who described his well-established relationship with the community as an inspiration for other politicians.
Asked by the Forward if he was referring to Yang's stances on yeshivas that had earned him the backing of most Hasidic sects and Orthodox elected officials in Brooklyn, Adams demurred. "Whoever believes they can just walk into this community and they can just say and do anything and then take away a long relationship and important relationship, whomever fits that description, that's who I'm talking to," said Adams. "And there's a host of candidates that are in this race that thought they could just come and walk down Flatbush Avenue or walk down 14th Avenue, or sit inside a synagogue, and it was a wrap."
Chris Coffey, Yang's campaign manager, pushed back against Adams' attack. "One of the things we hear about Eric from the community is that he has a complicated past here, filled with checkered characters who haven't always been great to the Jewish community," Coffey told the Forward, hinting about Adams' past praise of the antisemitic Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan and alliance with the Rev. Al Sharpton. "So it's no surprise that when someone like Andrew Yang comes in and they see his character and his dedication to their issues that they gravitate to him."
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