At least one list for the city council is almost complete: city councilor Meir Turgeman, once part of the "Jerusalem will succeed" list led by opposition leader Nir Barkat, is running at the head of a new group, which he describes as "simple citizens who care for their city and community." This week Turgeman released most of the names on the list, including Ramot Neighborhood Administration head Ze'ev Lendner, Yad Labanim head Elie Dahan and businessman Haim Mamman. Still to be confirmed: city councilor and businessman Rami Levy and a mystery woman who's also been courted by Kadima.
Prof. Shlomo Mor-Yosef, who was reportedly a candidate for mayor, has left his supporters behind and departed for a two-week trip to the States. On the agenda: hospitals, health issues and the like. Sources in Kadima admit that the Hadassah-University Medical Center director-general may not be a suitable candidate after all and are continuing their search for an alternative.
Polls: According to Barkat's people, the latest (unpublished) polls give him and Mayor Uri Lupolianski almost an equal share of the votes, at around 44 percent each. If Arkadi Gaydamak joins the race, they both lose a little bit to him, Barkat a little more than Lupolianski, but in any case, Barkat's people maintain, not enough to jeopardize his candidacy.
In most of the polls, Gaydamak doesn't cross the 10% mark in votes. Deputy Mayor Yigal Amedi, who is close to Gaydamak, says he is careful not to put too much stock in the polls, adding that we will all be very surprised when the race ends.
Meanwhile, Barkat meets hundreds of people if not more every day, including high school students, who always welcome him warmly - not a bad idea considering a number of them will be voting for the first time.
Shas is trying to convince United Torah Judaism that a rotation agreement could also be in their best interest. Namely, that a split of the mayorship between a member from Shas and UTJ should not be seen as completely out of the question. After all, everybody knows that without the support of Shas, UTJ is less than assured of the victory of their candidate for mayor.