(photo credit: Ben Hartman)
Tel Aviv awoke Tuesday to another five years of Mayor Ron Huldai, who has
steered the municipality for the past 15 years and fought off the challenge of
Meretz MK Nitzan Horowitz.
Huldai, who garnered 57.6 percent of the vote
to Horowitz’s 41.4%, said the votes indicated that his leadership was on the
right path in Tel Aviv, and vowed to serve all residents of the city, including
those who didn’t vote for him.
Horowitz responded to the loss with an
upbeat tone, saying that the campaign had been victorious in getting some 40% of
the mayoral votes and that the party’s list had doubled its size in the city
“These results show how the wind’s blowing – a giant portion of
the public in this important and central city expressed their clear and strong
desire for change – and Huldai can’t ignore this,” he said.
Tel Aviv was
among the more apathetic cities, with only about a third of the eligible public
turning out to vote. Some commentators linked the turnout in part to the
inability of Horowitz or other candidates to make the race closer against
The morning was particularly cruel for City For All candidate
Aharon Maduel, who was listed as winning as little as 1% of the vote – a
staggering drop from the 2008 elections, when the party won 34% of the votes
with Hadash MK Dov Henin at the helm.
Elsewhere in the Tel Aviv region,
Ron Konik from the Our Givatayim list narrowly defeated incumbent Givatayim
mayor Reuven Ben-Shahar, and in Ramat Gan, former Likud MK Carmel Shama Hacohen
lost by a wide margin to longtime educator and local activist Yisrael Zinger,
with 37.2% of the vote versus 52.4%.
Also in the Center, in the first
municipal elections the city has held in a decade, Lod voters overwhelmingly
favored Yair Revivo (63.7%) over former Labor MK Yoram Marciano, who garnered
36.3% of the vote. Overshadowing the race – which was one of the most bitter in
the city – was the wounding of city council candidate Abed Azbarga in a shooting
the night before elections, an incident widely believed to be linked to the next