B ill de Blasio is almost a shoo-in to win reelection as mayor of New York. So why would anybody bother running against him?

Ever heard of Donald Trump?

Polls show that de Blasio, first elected in 2013, holds a two-to-one margin against any Republican opponent. But history has shown that the polls can be wrong. That’s at least one of the reasons former police detective and Fox News television personality Bo Dietl is challenging de Blasio as an independent.

Like Trump, the straight-talking Dietl has captured the headlines with bombastic, and sometimes offensive, statements about his opponents. Also like Trump, his daughter and grandchildren are Jewish.

“My ex-wife is a Russian Jew. My daughter, my son, are Jewish. My grandson is Jewish. I have Jewish in me also,” Dietl said in an interview with Mishpacha in his midtown Manhattan office. “I’ve been to many Passover and Friday night dinners. My best friend is an Orthodox Jew who keeps his boat kosher.”

Asked why Orthodox voters should support his candidacy, Dietl recounted the many times he “shed [his] blood” for New York City as a police officer, including instances when he dressed up as a chassidic Jew to attract muggers. “I walked, like staggering a little bit, and I was mugged,” he says. “We had many of our people in the street crime unit back in the 1970s that would dress up like chassidics and go into Williamsburg and areas there and look vulnerable so these people that want to rob the community would rob the wrong person. My point is, I replaced the people of New York so they wouldn’t be the victim. I became the victim.”

During the interview, Dietl also questioned de Blasio’s commitment to Israel, saying the mayor has been “negative” toward the Jewish state, though when pressed, Dietl could not point to a specific de Blasio policy that was anti-Israel. “All I say to any Jewish voter is, don’t take him on what he’s saying now, because he’ll say anything to anybody to be elected,” the mayoral hopeful asserted.

Though Dietl has never been to Israel, he said he admires the Israeli spirit. “Israel is a country kind of like me, fighting everybody,” he said. “You want to know something? I love the guy who’s the fighter there against all odds, and it’s like a David and Goliath thing. De Blasio is the Goliath, and I’m the David. He might be a lot bigger, more powerful with his parties and all that, but what I have is something he doesn’t have. I have heart, I have caring. And I’ve never wavered, never wavered, on the State of Israel.”

Though Dietl ran for Congress as a Republican in 1986, because his campaign made an error when filing paperwork, he can’t run in the GOP primary, where a number of candidates are vying to challenge de Blasio.

Still, Dietl believes that with his name recognition and energy, he can challenge de Blasio by pulling away a majority of the Republican Party nominee’s support while appealing to independents and disaffected voters.

“I’m only running because I’m the only one who can beat de Blasio,” he stressed. “I’m running as a dump de Blasio, ‘anybody but de Blasio’ guy. I just got off the phone with some of the heads of the Republican Party. I said, what do you want to do, you just want to run a candidate? That’s fine, you’ll run another loser. I think I’ll appeal to the whole Republican Party.”

He’ll face an uphill climb, even with Jewish voters. In November 2013, de Blasio became the first Democrat to win the Jewish vote since Ed Koch won his reelection bid in 1985. It wasn’t an overwhelming outburst of support, considering his 49-point margin against Republican Joe Lhota. Nonetheless, he still bested his rivals among Jewish voters by 53 percent to 44 percent, according to exit polling by Edison Research for the New York Times. In this year’s election, support for de Blasio among Orthodox voters will likely drop, due primarily to the mayor’s strong stance against President Trump, who remains remarkably popular in the community.

“Whatever I’m doing, I’m trying to make Jewish people safer in their community,” Dietl promises in closing. “And if I have to wear a yarmulke and dress up like a chassidic and be the decoy in the community, if there’s a rash of robberies, I’ll be right there. I’ll do it tomorrow. I’ll be the victim; I’ll take a bullet for the community. I’d be very honored, and I’d like to know what issues the Jewish community have and what their concerns are.”

Originally featured in Mishpacha, Issue 659. Jacob Kornbluh is also the political reporter for JewishInsider.com.