Brooklyn, NY – Councilman David Greenfield, who won a hotly contested special election this spring to represent the Orthodox Jewish bastions of Midwood and Borough Park along with the ethnically diverse Bensonhurst neighborhood, faces no opposition in his bid to keep his seat this fall.
With 57% of the vote, Mr. Greenfield, 31 years old, won the March 23 special election to replace Simcha Felder, who resigned from the City Council for a high-ranking position in Comptroller John Liu’s office.
That election gave Mr. Greenfield, a lawyer and onetime aide on Joe Lieberman’s presidential campaign, a seat on the City Council through the end of this year. Mr. Greenfield must run again this fall to maintain the post through Dec, 31, 2013, the remainder of Mr. Felder’s unexpired term.
This fall, though, as the incumbent, Mr. Greenfield attracted nary an opponent in the primary or general election, a major coup for the freshman councilman whose entry into city government divided some of the most prominent leaders in the city.
“I always tell my staff: If we work every day like there’s an election, we won’t face an election,” Mr. Greenfield said.
Mr. Greenfield, who makes $112,500 a year, also stands to benefit the most from the Charter Revision Commission’s decision Monday to allow all incumbents to serve three full four-year terms, even if voters restore a cap of two four-year terms this November.
Based on the commission’s decision on Monday, Mr. Greenfield would be eligible to run in 2013, 2017 and again in 2021, serving, if he chooses and if his district elects him, nearly 16 years before term limits bars him from office. (His current term doesn’t count as a full term.)
“I trust them that they believe it was the right thing,” said Mr. Greenfield, referring to the commission’s decision to grandfather in incumbents.
Joe Lazar, Mr. Greenfield’s main opponent in the spring special election, said he is not concerned that Mr. Greenfield is running unopposed. Mr. Lazar won 40% of the vote in March.
“He won an election and evidently everybody is satisfied with the results,” Mr. Lazar said of Mr. Greenfield. “I have no problem with him getting a free ride, if nobody else wants to run against him.”
Also Assemblyman Dov Hikind, who endorsed Mr. Lazar in the spring, said Mr. Greenfield won “fair and square” and deserves to keep his job. “There is absolutely no reason, no purpose, to challenge someone who has not had an opportunity to really just go out there and do the job,” Mr. Hikind said. “He’s out there. He’s working. Give a person a chance.”