Southern Brooklyn

Weinstein To Face Tea Party Opponent For Assembly Seat

Joseph Hayon (l) and Assemblywoman Weinstein (r)

Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein will face a Republican opponent as she seeks reelection in the 41st District.

Weinstein, who has served in the Assembly for more then 30 years, is being challenged by Brooklyn Tea Party Chairman Joseph Hayon. Hayon previously faced off against Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz in 2010, when he garnered 43 percent of the vote by spending little more than $600.

In that campaign, however, Hayon primarily appealed to religious Jewish voters by mis-characterizing a bill Cymbrowitz voted for as forcing religious schools to “teach Kindergarten children to ‘tolerate’ or sanctify same-gender relationships.” Hayon also made headlines in 2010 when, as a student at Kingsborough Community College (2001 Oriental Boulevard), the school banned him from handing out pro-life literature on campus, a decision the school eventually overturned.

Unfortunately for Hayon, Weinstein’s district – which spans the eastern part of Sheepshead Bay, Flatlands, East Flatbush, Midwood and Canarsie – is far more Democratic than Cymbrowitz’s, and has a less dense population of religious Jewry for him to rely on. Still, he intends to position himself as the social conservative in the race, and will attempt to make Weinstein’s vote for same-sex marriage the central issue in the campaign.

Politicker reports:

Mr. Hayon is known in Brooklyn political circles as a particularly passionate opponent of the gay marriage legislation signed last year, and he hinted that Mr. Cymbrowitz’s vote against the bill — and Ms. Weinstein’s support of it — factored into his decision-making, in addition to redistricting changing the shape of the map.

“Weinstein’s vote to redefine marriage will play a major role in this campaign,” he explained in an email. “Voters do not forget easily, and they are still angry at the marriage vote.”

It’s curious to see that Hayon chose Weinstein’s seat as his objective after performing so well in Cymbrowitz’s district in 2010. That’s potentially because Cymbrowitz’s primary election challenger, Ben Akselrod, adopted many (if not all) of Hayon’s stances – including the mischaracterization of the bill mentioned above, opposition to gay marriage, and opposition to the Voorhies Avenue mosque – as we noted after his Akselerod’s campaign announcement.

It could also be that State Senator-elect David Storobin may also look to Cymbrowtiz’s seat as many have rumored. Storobin appears to have won the race against Fidler (though the Board of Elections still needs to certify the results), but the district will vanish come January. Storobin shares many of the same views as Hayon, and Hayon worked on his campaign, so it’s unlikely either would benefit from competing against each other in a Republican primary in a (statistically) Democratic district.

However, when Sheepshead Bites spoke to Storobin last week, he said he still had not thought at all about what he would do after his district disappears and that the rumors are nothing more than just that.

Comment policy


  1. My outrage at Akselrod a few weeks ago over gay-hating remarks were misinformed. I honestly had no idea that gay-hating was a trope practiced before in this region by other hacks and wanna-be hacks trying to inflame fringe groups to vote them in elections most dopes don’t care about.

    I don’t even think many socially conservative religious Jews even CARE that much about what goes on in secular society (also known as Real Life Society). They are not Right Wing Evangelical Christians trying to take over our lives. They try to be the Amish-in-the-City. The ultimate holier-than-thou type but nice enough to at least contribute to the economics of the city (and a good knish or two). Also, according to the news, they care more about fighting the existence of the Internet, but like with all religious fringe groups, I think that has more to do with the Fear that their Women will discover Sexual Freedom. But that has nothing to do with this…

    My point is…it’s good to know there are Extremists using the Tea Party label to go along with Socially Conservative views when the whole Tea Party gimmick was that it was all about economics. And it’s even better to know that right here in Brooklyn, there is this on-going attempt to gin-up a religious sect or two with some old fashioned “let’s hate on others” social politics. Of course use that nice modern hack rhetorical device of saying that THEY are the victims as they are being exposed to people who are not like them. 

    Yee haw.

  2. Please, correct the name of Democratic candidate for Assembly seat in 45 District. His name is Ben Akselrod.

  3. I think that it’s entirely irrelevant whether these candidates in this district or anywhere else in the country truly hold these extreme anti-gay beliefs. The very fact that they’re willing to stoop so low and peddle this nonsense, is a great reflection of the fact that they have no sense of human decency or compassion. What’s even worse is the number of people who come out in droves to vote for people like Storobin over Fiddler, because they’re Rabbi said that it would be a “Good deed” to vote for a man who isn’t opposed to making LGBT people’s lives miserable, even if they’re mere school children. 

  4. Who knows how many would have voted for Storobin if he hadn’t been working the lines at the polling places and using scare tactics to animate uninterested voters.

    That election was perceived as a test run for the future. As such, no one really won.

  5. I’m amazed that the religious Jewish community, which has little or no contact with gays and where gays have virtually no impact on their lives, can make gay marriage a priority issue in an election.

  6. Two supporters of the new GOP State Senator David Storobin look to be squaring off against each other in a Republican Primary to take on Assemblymember Weinstein.  
    According to various accounts, Joseph Hayon says he was going to be the designee of both the Kings County Republicans and the Conservatives.  It didn’t quite pan-out that way and Hayon is now pushing back on the Brooklyn Republicans and Conservatives at the same time that he pushes forward with his Independent Republican run for the assembly in the 41st AD.  Supposedly, both the Republicans and the Conservatives have retaliated against Hayon for the Brooklyn Tea Party’s endorsement of Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos for the GOP primary for the US Senate slot against Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillebrand.

    Hayon says that he expects the threat of a primary challenge by Republican County lawyer and official blogger, Gene Berardelli, a key operative of Brooklyn Chairman Craig Eaton. however one of Hayon’s advisors expects that Berardelli  will pull out of any primary race that he might lose to Hayon,  because Berardelli is “all blubber and no guts….”
    The turn around against Hayon was as vicious as it was sudden, and it bespeaks some of the very deep ethnic hostilities that were the hallmark of the early Storobin-Fidler campaign.

    Early on, some people in Brooklyn were very surprised at Congressman Bob Turner’s last minute entry into the U.S. Senate race, as well as the rapid lockstep endorsements by GOP County Chairman Eaton and by Republican State Senator Martin Golden from Bay Ridge and other Brooklyn neighborhoods running from Bensonhurst into Marine Park. This had the distinct look of a block-Maragos move, because Marty Golden is so intimately intertwined with Wendy Long supporters, State Conservative Chairman Mike Long and Brooklyn Conservative Chairman Gerry Kassar, who is also Golden’s Chief of Staff. Among Brooklyn Republicans and Conservatives, the Wendy Long supporters have no big problem with the Bob Turner supporters; and the Bob Turner supporters have no big problem with the Wendy Long supporters; BUT both the Bob Turner supporters and the Wendy Long supporters have a very big – almost phobic – reaction to any showing  of  GOP support for George Maragos anywhere in Brooklyn by anybody.

    Unable to untangle these twists, several Bay Ridge supporters of Democrat Steve Gounardes are of the opinion that the overnight two-pronged attack on Greek Republican George Maragos is a possible “payback” to certain Greek activists inside and outside of Brooklyn for their early financial support of their compatriot Steve Gounardes, a Democrat who is actively campaigning as the candidate against Golden.

  7. Without getting into the “inside baseball” aspects of the race against Weinstein, our community can only benefit from having a functioning two-party system and ousting Doo-Little office holders like weinstein and fidler. Their loyalties to the Kings County Democratic apparatus always guided their activities and perhaps now, their destinies. Weinsteain, who I am told, lives in Manhattan, (I would like this confirmed by an independent source) has been an absentee legislator for decades. If you don’t benefit from her member items as a Senior Citizen, you are out of luck. Let’s see if the next candidate can do better.

  8. Hayon was right that bill will force Kindergartens to teach children to ‘tolerate’ or sanctify same-gender relationships.

    S 801-a. Instruction in civility,
    citizenship and character education. The regents shall ensure that
    the course of instruction in grades kindergarten through twelve includes
    a component on civility, citizen ship and character education. Such component
    shall instruct students on the principles of honesty, tolerance, personal
    responsibility, respect for others, observance of laws and rules, courtesy,
    dignity and other traits which will enhance the quality of their experiences
    in, and contributions to, the community. The regents shall determine how
    to incorporate such component in existing curricula and the commissioner
    shall promulgate any regulations needed to carry out such determination

    a lesser worded bill had Alameda County force this reading list with out any opt outs

  9. and your a anti semite for forcing Jewish children in schools to hear things their religion forbids them to.

    this is the USA and not the USSA.

  10. the law as written could apply to Yeshivas which is why the bill A08310 (due to the Hayon election)  added this “FOR COURSES OF INSTRUCTION IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS” to section 801A. 
    besides there are unfortunately still a few Orthodox Jews in public school who will be effected even under the new law so stop with your anti semetism you evil bigot.

  11. So wait, the bill was changed due to your pressure and you are still not happy?
    Plus, it seems that you need some remedial education yourself, since you can’t spell “anti-Semitism” correctly:

    But anyway, with your name-calling, you now look just silly.

    Very truly yours,
    The Evil Bigot™

  12. Levp- you took the high road…i wish the “jewish voter” would too. His nastiness & hatred is truly disgusting. 

  13. “The Jewish Voter” was candidate Joseph Hayon himself. All that know him is aware that he personally but anonymously defends his bigoted positions.

  14. Regardless, “discrimination and harassment” are slowly going to the proverbial “dustbin of history”. It is a choice for each of us, which side of this history will we stand on.

    At least among Jews in the United States, Mr. Hayon at al are in the minority.
    According to a Jewish Values Survey, conducted by Public Religion Research Institute:
    “At least 8-in-10 American Jews say that pursuing justice (84%) and caring for the widow and the orphan (80%) are somewhat or very important values that inform their political beliefs and activity.
    More than 7-in-10 also say that tikkun olam, healing the world (72%), and welcoming the stranger (72%) are somewhat or very important values.
    A majority (55%) say that seeing every person as made in the image of God is somewhat or very important in informing their political beliefs and activity.

    When asked which qualities are most important to their Jewish identity, nearly half (46%) of American Jews cite a commitment to social equality, twice as many as cite support for Israel (20%) or religious observance (17%). Fewer than 1-in-10 say that a sense of cultural heritage and tradition (6%) or a general set of values (3%) are most important to their Jewish identity.”

  15. […] While this bill has not been discussed by the mainstream media until Cuomo’s veto on Tuesday, it has been heavily reported on by the Jewish media during the past few weeks. Sites including, and papers such as the Jewish Daily Forward have presented this bill as one which will benefit religious children, particularly Orthodox Jews. The Jewish Daily Forward even titled their article “State Cash May Fund Orthodox Special Ed,” leading readers to believe that this bill was targeted towards public funding of special education in Jewish schools, and helping shore up Weinstein’s bonafides among religious constituents ahead of the November elections – when she faces off against Orthodox Jewish Republican Joseph Hayon. […]


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