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Chasidic Pol Aims For Albany

Chasidic Pol Aims For Albany

Amy Sara Clark writes about politics and education. A Columbia Journalism School graduate, she's worked at CBS News, The Journal News, The Jersey Journal, Mom365, JTA and Prospect Heights Patch. She comes to journalism from academia where she earned a master's degree in European History with a focus on Vichy France.

A Rockland County lawmaker is making a bid to become the first chasidic Jew to hold a statewide office.

Aron B. Wieder is in a close race for the Democratic nomination for the 98th District in the New York State Assembly.

Wieder is a controversial figure. He was a trustee on the East Ramapo Central School District’s board of directors from 2008 to 2011 as it transitioned to a chasidic majority. Since 2007, the board has been under fire for slashing the district’s budget to keep taxes low and in April, the state appointed a fiscal monitor to oversee its operations.

But that connection didn’t stop Wieder from winning a seat on the Rockland County Legislature, which he’s held since 2011.

The Assembly’s 98th District includes parts of the heavily Orthodox Spring Valley, but most of the district is in Orange County, where he has less support.

Currently he’s 107 votes behind candidate Elisa Tutini, meaning what’s inside the 250 absentee ballots will decide the race, which also includes candidate Krystal Serrano, The New York Times reports.

The seat representing the 98th District is currently vacant and the general election should be a tight race; the district is split fairly evenly between Democrats and Republican voters, according to the Times.

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