Bet Shemesh has undergone a metamorphosis, having elected its first chareidi mayor, Moshe Abutbul. In addition, the United Torah Judaism representation on the city council has increased from 3 to 5 seats.
Abutbul, who received 52.3% of the vote, enjoys widespread support from rabbonim in Bet Shemesh as well as Gedolei HaDor Shlita. In addition, there are many unaffiliated with the chareidi way of life who decided to support his mayoral bid. The dati leumi candidate, Shalom Lerner earned 28% of the vote and outgoing Mayor Daniel Vaknin 17%.
UTJ enjoys the largest representation on the 19-seat city council, followed by Shas (3), NRP (3), Dor Echad (2), Likud (2), Mishpacha Ecad (2), Labor (1), and Ad (1).
(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)