By Brooklyn Reader

April 8, 2015, 11:56 am

  Click here to view original web page at www.kingscountypolitics.com

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The upcoming May 5 special election for the open 43rd District Assembly seat, which began bizarrely when the Democratic Party failed to field a candidate due to a series of filing errors, took another unusual turn yesterday when one of the candidates, Geoffrey Davis, said that he channels the late Grand Rebbe Menachem Schneerson – whom many Crown Heights Jews believe is the messiah.

What’s more, Davis insists that the Grand Rebbe endorses him in the race.

Geoffrey Davis, center, has a long history with the Crown Heights Jewish community dating back to the friendship he struck up with the Grand Rebben Menachem Schneerson as a young boy.
Geoffrey Davis, center, has a long history with the Crown Heights Jewish community dating back to the friendship he struck up with the Grand Rebbe Menachem Schneerson as a young boy.

“Definitely. Without a doubt I would get his endorsement,” said Davis. “When I travel the (Hasidic) neighborhood, they say ‘That’s Davis, the Grand Rebbe’s guy’. And as the campaign continues we’re going to visit his graveside in Cambria Heights (Queens) for a blessing and to communicate and talk with him.”

Davis said his relationship with Schneerson dates to his childhood and his Brooklyn Avenue home in the middle of the Lubavitch Jewish neighborhood.

“I didn’t view him as the Grand Rebbe as a child, but just a friendly, kind man who walked past the house regularly,” recalled Davis. “He used to stop and talk to us. Small talk. Asking how we were and such. My brother (the late City Councilman James Davis) and I would be arguing about baseball or basketball – whatever game we were playing – and he’d say, ‘Guys, behave yourselves. Love yourselves. Get along. You guys are going to grow up to do great things in this community. You will be leaders of this community.’ It was touching his words to us. Today I realize how touching it was because look what we did. So what he said to us resonated with us our entire life.”

If true, Schneerson’s endorsement from the beyond of Davis could spell trouble for GOP Candidate Menachnem (Mendy) Raitport. To win the election, Raitport, a Lubavitch Jew, is counting on almost total support from his fellow Orthodox Jews and hoping that Davis splits the African-American vote with the two other African-American candidates in the race – Shirley Patterson and Diana Richardson.

Davis said he expects to siphon some of these Jewish votes from lifelong Jewish friends he’s known since he was growing up. He also plans on holding an April 16 event at his house, which is Holocaust Remembrance Day.

“Right now we’re looking at Education Tax Investment Credit, which would help our community because a lot of our children go to yeshivas that are very expensive and to other parochial schools. These parents need a break, and I’m representing a constituency that needs that. So when I go to Albany, I’ll channel the Rebbe’s blessing and fight for that,” said Davis.

Davis said pictures of the Grand Rebbe have been on the walls of the family home for as long as can remember, and that he follows the Laws of Noah, which Schneerson preached that all gentiles should follow.

“I look at this kind man who always spoke about good charity and building this community and I take that with me as part of my campaign and that will resonate I’m sure with our neighbors,” said Davis. “This isn’t a black and white thing, a Jew against gentile. This is a message of peace and love. There is a Jewish person in the race and we say join us. Just because you’re Jewish doesn’t mean you’ll get the Jewish vote.”

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