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Hikind Backs Republican In Staten Island House Race

Hikind Backs Republican In Staten Island House Race

Assemblyman Dov Hikind, a Democrat who has made no secret of his desire to see the Republicans retake Congress, endorsed Staten Island GOP challenger Michael Grimm on Wednesday.

Hikind said the decision had nothing to do with the “Jewish list” controversy last spring when Democrat incumbent Michael McMahon fired a spokeswoman who spoke in an interview about “Jewish money” collected by Grimm.

“He apologized for that,” Hikind said. “It was cleared up.”

Hikind said he backed Grimm because he was impressed with the ex-Marine and former FBI agent’s background and his opposition to Israeli concessions to the Palestinians. “He’s against a two-state solution,” Hikind said. “He goes even further in that issue than almost anyone I know. He’s an impressive guy in terms of the issues and is very knowledgeable about terrorism.”

Grimm also favors clemency for Israel spy Jonathan Pollard, Hikind said. “When I asked him about it I didn’t know what to expect from a former FBI agent,” Hikind said. “He expressed without reservation that the fact that Jonathan Pollard has been in jail for 25 years is a horrible thing.”

Hikind has had a mixed record with endorsements, having backed losing candidates in statewide and local races, most notably Joe Lazar, the candidate who was trounced by Councilman David Greenfield last winter.

“If I wanted to just pick races where the candidate is 20 points ahead that’s not difficult to do,” said Hikind. “I do as well as the New York Yankees in terms of the percentages. I hope I can make a little difference in some parts of the Jewish community but it’s not about picking the person who is leading in the polls.”

By endorsing Grimm, he added, “What do I gain personally except antagonizing a bunch of Democrats?”

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