Zionist Union MK Stav Shaffir mulling run for Tel Aviv mayor

Incumbent Ron Huldai is 73 and some say it's time for him to retire.

April 23, 2018 19:17
1 minute read.
Labor Party MK Stav Shaffir

Labor Party MK Stav Shaffir. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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Zionist Union MK Stav Shaffir is considering throwing her hat into the October Tel Aviv mayor’s race, sources close to her confirmed.

Shaffir, who was among the leaders of the socioeconomic protests on the streets of Tel Aviv in the summer of 2011, has been urged by many activists to seek the post that has been held for 20 years by Ron Huldai.

Labor leader Avi Gabbay said he supports Huldai. But other MKs said privately that it is time for Huldai, who is 73, to retire and be replaced by someone much younger. Shaffir, who became the youngest female Knesset member in Israel’s history, turns 33 next month.

“A lot of people have been approaching her, but she believes the general elections will be held in September – and she is totally focused on bringing down the reign of [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu,” a source close to Shaffir said. “Mayor of Tel Aviv is obviously a great job and she would run the city well, but the timing of the decision will be impacted by when the next general election will take place.”

Science and Technology Minister Ofir Akunis is also considering running. His spokesman said he had not yet made a decision, but Akunis’s frequent posts about the city on social media have convinced many that his mind is made up.

Comedian Assaf Harel, who is a columnist for Haaretz, has made a firm decision to run. Harel hosted two TV shows on Channel 10, which broke the news about his run.

A spokesman for Huldai said that he was definitely running and anyone else can run as well.

Meanwhile, in Jerusalem, it is still unclear who will run for mayor on behalf of the Likud. Coalition chairman David Amsalem and Jerusalem Affairs Minister Ze’ev Elkin have said they are waiting for an endorsement by Netanyahu before deciding whether to run for the post that is being vacated by Nir Barkat, who is running for the next Knesset. In order to facilitate his run, Amsalem moved his residence from Ma’ale Adumim to the capital.

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