Simcha Eichenstein Nets Rare Backing From Ex-Sen. Lieberman

BROOKLYN -
Former United States Senator Joseph Lieberman (L) stands with New York State Assembly Candidate Simcha Eichenstein (Benjamin Kanter)

Simcha Eichenstein received a rare endorsement Monday night from an unexpected source — former Sen. Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut, who noted the marvel of having the first Chassidic man in statewide office.

Eichenstein, who is running unopposed for the Assembly seat being vacated by the retiring Dov Hikind, released a video of Lieberman, who left the Senate six years ago to pursue a career in the private sector, giving the endorsement.

“I haven’t gotten involved in many campaigns since I left the United States Senate,” Lieberman said, “but this is an unusual one. First, because I know Simcha. … He also, I think, will break a barrier. He’ll be really the first chassidishe member of a state legislative body in the United States of America.”

The former senator said that he first met the candidate more than 15 years ago when he brought to his notice the need to preserve cemeteries in Europe “where some of our family members were buried.”

“I’m really proud that we’ve come to this moment where Simcha Eichenstein is running for the Assembly,” he added. “I’m very impressed that he seems to have the endorsement of just about everybody. I worry about too much partisanship in American politics. Maybe the answer to too much partisanship is a candidate like Simcha. All the parties support him. And that means he can, I think, be a very effective member of the New York Assembly.”

“If — and I know with confidence, when — Simcha is elected, he will really be able to hit the ground running,” he said. “And he’s uniquely prepared to do that — to represent the interests of his Orthodox Jewish constituents, but also, in a broader sense, to do Kiddush Hashem. He understands how important it is to conduct himself not only productively, but honorably, so people will say, ‘These are the values of an Orthodox Jewish person.’”

Eichenstein expressed his gratitude to Lieberman, calling him “one of the most respected public servants of my lifetime.”

“Senator Lieberman,” Eichenstein said, “is a legend and I recall how thrilled I was when I first met him over 15 years ago. … As an elected official, I hope to emulate a fraction of his outstanding and ongoing examples of Kiddush Hashem.