Telling a few hundred jubilant supporters at the Renaissance ballroom in Boro Park Tuesday evening that the strength of his campaign was “the heart of the people of the community,” Democratic Assemblyman Dov Hikind celebrated his commanding victory over Republican challenger Nachman Caller to represent the 48th district in the New York State Assembly.
Though Caller, a relative unknown, was never considered a real threat to Hikind, a 32-year incumbent, the two camps had saturated the district, composed of Boro Park and parts of Flatbush, with flyers, posters, pamphlets, hand-outs and print ads — in both English and Yiddish — during the weeks and days leading up to the election. It was the first time Hikind had to battle for votes since winning the office in 1982.
Caller ran a professional and earnest campaign. Its centerpiece — an innovative plan to build apartments above the MTA tracks adjacent to 61st Street in Boro Park — garnered much attention and might have drawn votes from families desperate for a solution to the severe housing shortage.
But there were questions about the plan’s feasibility and, in the end, Caller proved no match for Hikind’s strong record of advocacy for the community and excellent constituent services.
Hikind was magnanimous in victory, telling the audience his re-election campaign “wasn’t about me alone; it was about the strength and future of this community.”
Sprinkling his address with Yiddish expressions, Hikind expressed gratitude for the warm support he had received: “Let me tell you what I’m going to give you in return [for your faith in me]. … I am going to work harder than ever before to produce for this community. And that’s not going to be hard, because I enjoy doing it.”