Ultra-Orthodox NY state assemblyman dumps Trump
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Ultra-Orthodox NY state assemblyman dumps Trump

Dov Hikind, a Democrat who has voted Republican in national elections, says he's writing Paul Ryan, a 'mensch,' on the ballot

New York Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D) has represented Brooklyn's 48th District since 1983, serving an area that includes one of the largest Orthodox communities outside of Israel. (Courtesy)
New York Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D) has represented Brooklyn's 48th District since 1983, serving an area that includes one of the largest Orthodox communities outside of Israel. (Courtesy)

An ultra-Orthodox, Democrat, Brooklyn state assemblyman who has in the past backed Republican presidential candidates has announced that he will not vote for Donald Trump in the upcoming election, citing behavior “so offensive, so horrible, so degrading” by the real estate mogul.

At a community forum debate in Flatbush where he was supposed to speak for the Republican side, Dov Hikind this week said he “cannot vote for Donald Trump,” adding that he would write in House Speaker Paul Ryan’s name instead.

“When we said before I am going to represent the Republican side, I would’ve loved to — if I had a Republican,” Hikind said at the event, according to Jewish Insider. “Donald Trump is not a Republican. He is running on the Republican line. I wanted to support him. I was hoping as the weeks went by that he would keep his mouth closed and stop saying the things that he has said, but he can’t change, and I am really concerned.”

He praised Ryan as “a man of courage, integrity” who “possesses the necessary values we look for in a presidential candidate.”

“He is a real superstar. A real friend of Israel. A real mensch,” said Hikind.

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump addresses supporters at a rally in Miami, Florida on November 2, 2016. (AFP PHOTO / RHONA WISE)
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump addresses supporters at a rally in Miami, Florida on November 2, 2016. (AFP PHOTO / RHONA WISE)

Trump “was a very difficult choice from the beginning,” Hikind later told the Jewish Daily Forward. “His behavior is so offensive, so horrible, so degrading and every other adjective you can think of.”

“Being ignorant is sort of a positive thing for him,” he added.

Hikind said that he would not vote for his party’s nominee because “if we wanted another term of President Obama, we would push to change the Constitution, and have a third term of Obama rather than an Obama replica.”

Over the summer, Hikind made a video denouncing Clinton due to her support for the agreement last year curbing Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of sanctions.

At the time, Hikind said he expected most of his Haredi constituents to back Trump.

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