WASHINGTON -- With attention on Florida for Monday night's presidential debate, campaign surrogates are stumping for their party's candidate. But an exception to the party line is New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn), a prominent figure in the Orthodox Jewish community in New York who will travel to Florida later this week to help Mitt Romney, according to the New York Observer.
The paper cites the Jewish political blog Gestetner Updates which quotes an aide for Hikind as saying the politician will rally South Florida Jewish voters to support Romney.
Hikind said he believes that the U.S. under President Barack Obama has not been strong enough in supporting Israel in the face of the potential threat of a nuclear-armed Iran. Obama and predecessor George W. Bush, in conjunction with Congress and the European Union, have put in place strong sanctions on Iran and its economy in an attempt to change Tehran's nuclear calculus.
"Israel is under the gun. Israel is the target of Iran. Israel's existence is being threatened. And Obama doesn't have time to meet with the Israeli PM? It's insulting. It's degrading. This president scares me," Hikind said in September, according to the New York Post. "I'm a Democrat, but not a knee-jerk Democrat. I'm only loyal to America and the survival of Israel."
In September's Democratic Primary, Hikind, a 30-year incumbent, easily beat a 20-year old Brooklyn political novice, Moshe Tischler. He does not face a Republican challenger in November, but Tischler remains on the ballot as the nominee of an independent party in the Borough Park-based district.
This is not the first time that Hikind has crossed party lines to help a Republican. In 2008, he endorsed Sen. John McCain's presidential candidacy.
Follow Daniel Lippman on Twitter @dlippman
What's happening in your district? The Huffington Post wants to know about all the campaign ads, mailers, robocalls, candidate appearances and other interesting campaign news happening by you. Email any tips, videos, audio files or photos to firstname.lastname@example.org.
BEFORE YOU GO
How to vote
Vote-by-mail ballot request deadline: Varies by state
For the Nov 3 election: States are making it easier for citizens to vote absentee by mail this year due to the coronavirus. Each state has its own rules for mail-in absentee voting. Visit your state election office website to find out if you can vote by mail.Get more informationTrack ballot status
In-person early voting dates: Varies by state
Sometimes circumstances make it hard or impossible for you to vote on Election Day. But your state may let you vote during a designated early voting period. You don't need an excuse to vote early. Visit your state election office website to find out whether they offer early voting.My Election Office
General Election: Nov 3, 2020
Polling hours on Election Day: Varies by state/localityMy Polling Place