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Felder running on Republican line in November

State Senator is a Democrat, but works with GOP

August 11, 2016 Brooklyn Daily Eagle
State Sen. Simcha Felder is running for re-election in November on three lines; Democrat, Conservative and Republican. Eagle file photo by Paula Katinas
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State Sen. Simcha Felder’s name should be easy to find on the ballot in the Nov. 8 election. The political maverick, who is running unopposed for re-election to the 17th State Senate District, is running on three different ballot lines: Democrat, Conservative and Republican.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the Republican Party announced its endorsement of Felder on Aug. 10.

Felder is a Democrat but caucuses with Republicans in the state senate, a move that helps the GOP maintain a majority in the legislative chamber. There are more Democrats in the state senate than Republicans, 32-31. But with Felder siding with the GOP and with the five Democrats in the Independent Democratic Conference aligned with the GOP, Republicans enjoy control of the senate.

Felder, a former city councilmember, first won election to the senate in 2012.

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In a statement published in several media outlets, State Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan called Felder “a superb state senator” and “an important voice in a chamber that continues to put progress over partisanship.”

All 63 state senate seats are up for re-election in November. Should the Democrats gain the majority of seats and come to control the chamber, Felder could switch sides and caucus with the Democrats.

“I’ll continue conferencing with Republicans as long as that is the most beneficial to serving my constituents,” he told the Wall Street Journal.

In an interview with the Brooklyn Eagle last year, Felder eschewed political party identity.  “I don’t believe in any particular party,” he said, adding that he just wants to get things done for his constituents. “The Republicans believe in the free market. I agree with that,” he told the Eagle.


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