Newly out-of-work former MKs mulling mayoral races

By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
April 3, 2013 03:41

With only 4 former and 2 current Kadima MKs in Knesset, many of the former Kadima MKs are looking for a way to return to public service.

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Labor MK Yoram Marciano.

Yoram Marciano 370. (photo credit: Menachem Rais)

Coming soon to a city near you: Out-of-work former Kadima MKs running for mayor.

With only four former and two current Kadima MKs in the current Knesset, many of the more than 40 former Kadima MKs are looking for a way to return to public service. One way of doing that is competing in the October 22 mayoral races all across the country.

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Several Kadima MKs mulled mayoral runs and recently announced that they had decided against it.

After seriously considering a run for mayor of Petah Tikva, Ruhama Avraham- Balila decided last week to sit the race out. Arieh Bibi made the same decision about the Petah Tikva race.

Yohanan Plesner resisted requests from his neighbors in Hod Hasharon to run, turning to business instead.

“Many people told me that I am the only possible candidate to beat the mayor [Hai Adiv], but serving at the municipal level does not interest me,” Plesner said.

Dalia Itzik, Ze’ev Bielski and former Kadima and current Labor MK Nachman Shai all decided not to run against Nir Barkat for mayor of Jerusalem. Bielski, a former longtime mayor of Ra’anana, is still being pursued to return to the mayor’s office in that city and to challenge Ron Huldai in Tel Aviv.

“It is nice to be wanted,” Bielski said. “I guess I have a mayor’s face. If it is going to happen, it would be in Ra’anana. That’s the real thing for me, because I live here and I love the city.”

Bielski said he would make a decision in the next few days or weeks.

Yoel Hasson gave a similar answer about his potential candidacy in Rishon Lezion. Ya’acov Edri, a former mayor of Or Akiva, is said to be considering the race to return to that job.

Outside Kadima, former Labor MK Yoram Marciano is running with full force for mayor of Lod. He voted for Likud in the Knesset election and endorsed Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in an effort to boost his chances.

In Ramat Gan, former Likud MK Carmel Shama-Hacohen will be one of several mayoral candidates challenging veteran incumbent Zvi Bar. Yediot Aharonot revealed Tuesday that talk show host Nissim Mishal is also considering throwing his hat in the ring.

Shama-Hacohen responded aggressively to the report on his Facebook page, calling it a trial balloon floated by an adviser to Bar who he accused of being overpaid.

“It is unclear if another candidate has been born but it is clear that there is someone who wants to guarantee that he can continue to milk residents of Ramat Gan,” Shama-Hacohen wrote. “There will be others who for their own interests dream that the party with taxpayer money will continue. I will be their worst nightmare. But I wish all the candidates well.”


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