Split in Jewish Satmar Community Helped Velazquez Win

Written by City & State on . Posted in Politics.

should thank the faction of ’s vote-rich Satmar religious sect for fending off a strong challenge from Councilman in yesterday’s primary, according to Velazquez supporters.

The south Williamsburg Satmar Jewish community is split between two rival brothers,  and — who control the community’s and Aronite factions. The brothers have been at odds for years over control of the Satmar empire, previously led by their father, Grand Rebbe Moses Teitelbaumm and even got into a war this year over control of upstate summer camps, which oddly played into the congressional race.

The Zalmanite faction, which is larger and has asserted greater political power in the past, has been affiliated with Brooklyn Democratic leader Vito Lopez, who was supporting Dilan. But the Aronite faction appeared to show new political strength this election, according to its leaders, though Dilan appears to have won the overall vote among Satmars. Velaquez’s campaign estimated a 60-40 split in favor of Dilan.

Still, Aronite leaders say that yesterday’s turnout was a benchmark for their community.

“We turned out a huge block vote for Nydia,” said , executive board chairman of , an Aronite social services group.

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