Hof Hacarmel was the only regional council of 25 that held elections on Tuesday
that will have to go to a second round of voting because no mayoral candidate
won the 40 percent of the vote needed to avoid a runoff race.
of 432 communities across the country were eligible to vote. The 61.5 percent
turnout varied between the 80% in Lachish and 40% in the Gush Etzion and Har
Hevron Regional Councils.
Uri Bank, who was elected to the Gush Etzion
council representing Neveh Daniel, blamed the low turnout on the weather and the
fact that mayor, Davidi Perl, did not have competition in his race. Bank
defeated candidate Rabbi Yehezkel Lichtenstein by a vote of 223 to 146 among
some 1,200 eligible voters.
“The freezing cold weather caused low
turnout, but it has also made our snow-covered mountain tops beautiful,” said
Bank, who was born in Detroit and raised in Chicago.
Besides Perl, seven
mayors were elected without competition, including Sigal Moran in the Bnei
Shimon Regional Council in the northern Negev, who is one of Israel’s four
Among the mayors who had competition, the mayor reelected
with the most support was Dov Litvinoff of the Tamar Regional Council near the
Dead Sea, with 77.1% of the vote.