Unhappiness with President Obama may have swayed voters in a nearby congressional race, but it had little impact on Democrat Yeruchem Philip Goldfeder’s bid to succeed Audrey Pheffer in the 23rd State Assembly district.
“In the precinct around Young Israel of Far Rockaway, of the 1200 votes, only 12 went for Jane Deacy. That’s the story,” said Far Rockaway supporter Eli Shapiro. “The Jewish community proved itself tonight.” With 57 of 90 precincts counted, Goldfeder won by 61 percent to Deacy’s 39 percent.
In the week approaching the Sept. 13 special election, Turner’s campaign was infused with energy, boosted by poll numbers and key crossover endorsements. Outspent and outmanned by his opponent David Weprin, Turner’s party waged a massive get out the vote effort, but it failed to help Deacy in her bid for office. Former Yeshiva Darchei Torah principal Richard Altabe wrote letters of support in local publications, describing his former student’s run as a historic opportunity for the Far Rockaway community. “The big news was the overwhelming turnout of Orthodox voters, but his strength outside his home base was also evident,” Altabe said.
At 30 years of age, he is among the younger elected officials in Albany, but his predecessor Audrey Pheffer, who now serves as Queens County Clerk, remembers her first encounter with Goldfeder as a teen who wrote letters and participated in campaigns. “He was this kid who loves politics. He knew his base and he then came to Howard Beach and won over solid Democrats,” Pheffer said. “Once they met him, they saw the energy that he has.”
Speaking to supporters at Old Mill Yacht Club in Howard Beach, Goldfeder thanked his wife Esther and the community for their support. “This is a victory for the community because we have great ideas. This is going to be a quality accessible government,” Goldfeder said.
Rabbi Pinchos Hecht said that Goldfeder's passion for public service stems from his parents. “His father is active in Hatzalah and his mother supports Torah Academy for Girls. It’s an active family that cares about others,” Rabbi Hecht said.