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Jerusalem mayor fights to hold on to his seat in city vote as Israel holds municipal elections

  • Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat, votes in Jerusalem, Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2013. The mayors of Israel’s two largest cities are fighting for their political survival in municipal elections with national implications. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)

    Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat, votes in Jerusalem, Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2013. The mayors of Israel’s two largest cities are fighting for their political survival in municipal elections with national implications. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)  (The Associated Press)

  • Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat, center, poses with his family as he votes in Jerusalem, Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2013. The mayors of Israel’s two largest cities are fighting for their political survival in municipal elections with national implications. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)

    Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat, center, poses with his family as he votes in Jerusalem, Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2013. The mayors of Israel’s two largest cities are fighting for their political survival in municipal elections with national implications. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)  (The Associated Press)

  • Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat, center, speaks with journalists after voting in  Jerusalem, Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2013.  The mayors of Israel’s two largest cities are fighting for their political survival in municipal elections with national implications. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)

    Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat, center, speaks with journalists after voting in Jerusalem, Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2013. The mayors of Israel’s two largest cities are fighting for their political survival in municipal elections with national implications. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)  (The Associated Press)

The mayor of Jerusalem is fighting for his political survival in a race that has become the centerpiece of Israel's municipal elections.

Secular Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat is running against Orthodox Jewish candidate Moshe Lion.

Lion is backed by two powerful politicians: Israel's former foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman and the chairman of ultra-Orthodox political party Shas.

Tuesday's election results will impact the political future of Lieberman and Shas. Lieberman's party lost seats in the last national election, and Shas was once a kingmaker in Israeli politics but no longer sits in the ruling coalition.

Two leading ultra-Orthodox rabbis declined to endorse Lion. He was counting on votes from their followers.

In two other cities, two lawmakers are running to become Israel's first gay mayor and first female Arab mayor.