Netanyahu pick eliminated, runoff set for Jerusalem election

A man votes at a polling station during the municipal elections in Jerusalem, Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018. Israelis are voting in for municipal elections across the country. In the closest watched race Tuesday, four candidates are hoping to become the next mayor of Jerusalem. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

JERUSALEM (AP) — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s pick for Jerusalem mayor has been knocked out of the race, with two other contenders advancing to a runoff.

Results of the municipal elections released Wednesday show veteran political activist Moshe Lion and secular activist Ofer Berkovitch moving on to another vote on Nov. 13 after neither won 40 percent. The winner will succeed outgoing Mayor Nir Barkat. Netanyahu’s candidate, Cabinet minister Zeev Elkin, was eliminated.

Jerusalem is a diverse city, with a Jewish population divided between secular residents, modern Orthodox and ultra-Orthodox. In addition, about one-third of the population is Palestinian.

Elsewhere in Israel, longtime Tel Aviv incumbent Ron Huldai was re-elected and Einat Kalisch Rotem ousted longtime Haifa Mayor Yona Yahav to become the first female mayor of Israel’s third-largest city.

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