Simcha Felder is not new, and there isn’t much that can be done about him. Here is his district.
As you can see by the numbers from 2012, it’s about 2/3 white people, the overwhelming majority of whom are Orthodox Jews.
Simcha runs on both the Republican and Democratic ticket. He wins BOTH primaries. You can vote for Simcha, or you can vote for Simcha.
You could try to primary him out. Maybe you can organize enough people there to put someone else on the Democratic ticket. But if the rabbis notice they will remind their congregation to vote in the primary, and then he wins again.
But maybe the rabbis let you win the primary. Simcha will still win the Republican primary and will still win the general election.
Another thing that could happen, and could have happened at any time, is Cuomo, the leader of the Democratic party of NY, could change the rules of the Democratic party and kick him out. Even if he did this, Simcha would just become an official Republican.
The fact that Cuomo hasn’t done this. The fact that he only says and does progressive things during election season. The fact that he didn’t shut down the IDC until election season shows that he is the bigger problem. There is a better chance of beating Cuomo than there is of beating Simcha.
The main problem with Simcha, and his district, is that, perhaps obviously, he cares about issues pertaining to Orthodox Jews. Things that the rest of NY cares about like maybe gun control, healthcare, public transportation, housing, etc. Simcha really doesn’t care about these things so much. He’ll vote however is advantageous to him politically.
What he and his constituents care about above all else is the Yeshivas. For anyone who doesn’t know, Yeshivas are private schools where very observant Jews send their children. These schools are technically supposed to provide a secular education meeting certain state standards, just like every other private school. They do not. Boys in these schools study the Torah to the exclusion of almost all else. From what I’ve heard the girls in these schools actually receive a much better secular education than the boys, but I can’t imagine that it is terrific by any means. There have been many incidents over the years of blatant cheating on standardized tests in these schools. All elected officials are afraid to enforce the standards or have these schools shut down. The people going to these schools really do not want their children to learn actual science or history that contradicts their biblical study.
In order to get Simcha to join the Democrats would mean we would have to somehow compromise or concede to allow these schools to continue improperly educating their children. Right now they are breaking the rules on paper, but the rules aren’t being enforced enough or at all. If that’s the cost, I say better to let him go.
A better idea would be to concentrate on flipping some upstate actually Republican district in November in the general election. Then Simcha doesn’t matter anymore. In fact, if D’s have a majority without him, he probably caucuses with them. This also would allow us to un-gerrymander the districts in 2020, and that should keep things good in NY until 2030.