Originally posted at Kings County Politics April 29, 2016.
For the first time in 20 years, Brooklyn/Manhattan Congressman Jerrold Nadler will have to work to win Democratic Party voters approval to remain in office.
That after his insurgent opponent, Oliver Rosenberg, officially got on the ballot for the June 28 Democratic Party Congressional Primary yesterday after the deadline passed with no challenges on his petitions, which garnered some 6,500 signatures.
“I’m very excited because this is the first primary in the 10th Congressional District in 20 years, and with over 80 percent of the voters in the district registered Democrats the real competition will be in the Democratic Primary,” said Rosenberg. “The whole petition process and being on the street was a great experience for me. The voters and people were very enthusiastic, and I’m very thankful to a lot of people in Manhattan and Kings County who turned out as volunteers in the petitioning process.”
Rosenberg, 30, is a very pro-Israel religious Jew, from a prominent Jewish family, who decided to run because he was both disappointed and felt betrayed after Nadler supported the Iranian nuclear arms deal. It is a sentiment he shares with many orthodox Jews in the Brooklyn side of the 10th Congressional District, which includes Borough Park, Kensington, and parts of Bay Ridge, Bensonhurst, Dyker Heights, Red Hook, Sunset Park and Midwood.
Rosenberg is also openly gay, which could spell additional problems for Nadler as the Manhattan side of the district has arguably the largest LGBTQ Congressional constituencies including such enclaves as the West Greenwich Village area including Christopher Street, Chelsea, and increasingly Hell’s Kitchen, to say nothing of a fairly strong LGBTQ community on the Upper West Side.
Iranian issue aside, Rosenberg said he sees other issues as well including climate change, noting that Nadler has voted against measures in Congress that would have given tax credits for investors in wind and solar energy.
“People are concerned about climate change especially after Hurricane Sandy and they feel Jerry Nadler never made the environment a priority,” said Rosenberg.
Rosenberg said another issue is after 24 years in office, Nadler seemingly doesn’t understand or care that the middle class is finding it harder to stay in Manhattan because of the rising rents in the district.
While many of the older people in the district have known Jerry Nadler a long time, he doesn’t have strong name recognition with the people under 45 or the millennial generation, Rosenberg said.
Nadler campaign spokesperson Daniel Schwarz responded that the hallmark of American democracy is that anyone eligible is entitled to run for office.
“Congressman Nadler has a long record of serving this district with distinction, a record he is proud of and stands by, and we look forward to a robust conversation with constituents throughout the district as the Congressman seeks their support once again,” said Schwarz.
Schwarz also pointed out that while Nadler has not had a primary challenge in 20 years he has faced Republican challengers in the general election.
Interestingly, whoever wins the Democratic Primary will face Republican Phillip J. Rosenthal, a Bronx born-and-raised accomplished physicist, attorney and successful entrepreneur who now resides on the Upper West Side. That general election contest promises it’s own dramatic twists and turns as the 10th Congressional District suddenly has taken on a competitive air of confronting political challenges of the day.