We were disturbed by a report in the New York Post that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is behind an effort to take down Sen. Simcha Felder in the upcoming elections by engineering a primary challenge to him.
As is well-known, Felder in recent years has run successfully as a Democrat but caucused with Senate Republicans, giving them a majority in the state’s upper chamber. Recently, Felder resisted the governor’s importunings that he rejoin the Democrats in the Senate and put them in the majority.
According to The Post, Cuomo is personally involved in trying to get a strong candidate to challenge Felder. For his part, Felder is said to be undaunted by the news. “I was sent here by the people I represent to serve them by doing what’s important to them,” he said.
We appreciate the political dynamic that drives the governor to maximize the clout of his party. But we also remember that it was not too long ago that Felder stood up for the majority of his constituents and leveraged the passage of a law that reasonably accommodated the educational desires and needs of Orthodox Jews. That would not have been possible if Felder were just another Democrat in the Senate.
It would be a shame if the Orthodox sensitivities Felder brings to his post were at risk.