They might not claim to be worth 11,000 votes, but, in an increasingly feisty Democratic primary, their votes could still matter quite a bit.
After much internal debate, the Aaronite Satmar sect—the smaller of two Jewish communities that tend to bloc-vote in Williambsurg—have decided to back front-runner Bill de Blasio in the mayor’s race, according to Satmar sources and confirmed by Mr. de Blasio’s campaign.
“I am honored to have the support of the Satmar community,” Mr. de Blasio said in a statement. “I plan to work together with them as mayor to ensure every New Yorker in every borough has access to quality education, housing and health care.”
Mr. de Blasio’s rival Bill Thompson has already received the backing of Williamsburg’s larger Zalmanite faction, which Rabbi David Niederman promised would deliver more than 10,000 votes. While some observers say the estimate is an exaggeration, the Aaronites and Zalmanites, locked in a succession feud dating back to 2006, can indeed mobilize thousands of voters if they engage a race.
According to one account, for example, twice as many voters in the community turned out for an obscure 2012 district leader contest—in which only registered Democrats could vote—than they did for the presidential election.