2014 Tel Aviv Night Run. .
(photo credit: GUY YEHIELI)
The annual Tel Aviv Night Run is a festive, adrenaline-fueled event, but it also brings chaos and roadblocks, as 25,000 runners from across the country pound the city’s roads.
That didn’t stop city hall from allowing the run to fall on the same day as the second round of municipal elections, if none of the four mayoral candidates were able to earn 40% of the vote.
Throughout the campaign, Tel Aviv Ron Mayor Huldai
and his team transmitted a sense of utter confidence and even complacency. But analysts and opponents suggested that he was panicking underneath that tough exterior, as polls suggested a tight race between him and his deputy Asaf Zamir – polls which Huldai dismissed as unreliable.
Ron Levin, a communications adviser during Huldai’s campaign was asked whether the candidate had been overly confident that he didn’t consider changing the date of the night run and responded “absolutely.”
Meanwhile spokesman of the municipality, Gidi Schmlering said: “there’s no connection, it’s the decision of the professional echelon.” But Huldai was surely on board with this decision.
Schmerling also questioned why the run would have interfered with an election. It presumably would have affected voter turnout, with the traffic and restrictions it causes for Tel Aviv residents, as well as those who live outside the city (such as students) who would need to travel to Tel Aviv in order to vote.
In any case, Huldai’s confidence proved to be valid as he scooped up 46% of the vote and glided into another five years in city hall.
As other cities in Israel wait in suspense for November 13, all Tel Avivians need to worry about is whether to run, cheer or steer clear.