Democrat Calls for Third Candidate

March 30, 2000 - AP

State Assemblyman Dov Hikind, a leader in New York's politically important Orthodox Jewish community, is calling for an alternative to Hillary Rodham Clinton and Rudolph Giuliani in New York's Senate race.

"People are dissatisfied with both Hillary and Giuliani. We must find a senatorial candidate acceptable to more people," Hikind wrote in a letter Tuesday to state Conservative Party Chairman Michael Long.

Long described Hikind's interest in an alternative candidate as "great" and said it represented "a significant crack in the dam of both campaigns."

A poll conducted last month by Marist College's Institute for Public Opinion found that 50 percent of registered voters surveyed statewide would like to see someone else run. Forty-six percent of voters said they were satisfied with the choices.

Hikind has been critical of the first lady for not supporting the release of Jonathan Pollard, an American imprisoned for spying for Israel. And while the Brooklyn Democrat once was a political supporter of Giuliani, Hikind blames the Republican mayor for his indictment more than two years ago on federal charges that the assemblyman diverted public funds to personal uses. Hikind was acquitted by a federal jury in July 1998.

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