Southern Brooklyn

New District Leader? New Democratic Club! (Grand Opening Tonight)


Newly-elected 45th Assembly District Leader Ari Kagan will celebrate the launch of his new democratic club tonight. Called Bay Democrats, Kagan said his goal is to unite Southern Brooklyn’s democratic factions under one banner.

The grand opening will take place from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Bainbridge Center, 3093 Ocean Avenue. Kagan expects approximately 150 supporters to join him, along with a slew of elected officials from around Brooklyn and New York City.

Kagan, a Russian-American reporter and activist, unseated 24-year incumbent District Leader Mike Geller during last month’s primaries. The district leader position, listed on the ballot as the Member of the State Democratic Committee, is an unpaid, nongovernmental representative. District leaders help pick the party’s chairman, appoint judges, provide on-the-ground support for local campaigns and hire poll workers.

Though advertised as a “unity” club, Kagan’s base so far looks a lot like the emerging conservative Democratic blocs dominating recent elections, primarily comprised of right-leaning Russian immigrants and Orthodox Jews. Leaders of both communities are expected tonight, along with leaders of the Asian and African-American communities, who Kagan helped rally to Ben Akselrod’s side in his failed bid to win the democratic primary against Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz.

The base might be founded in conservative democratic politics, but Kagan said he’s up to the challenge of rallying support for candidates he calls “modernist progressive.”

He’s already endorsed left-leaning candidates including congressional candidate Mark Murphy and State Senate candidate Andrew Gounardes.

“In each case, I’m explaining my reasons for support, like with [Congressman Michael Grimm, whose name has surfaced in several corruption investigations],” Kagan told Sheepshead Bites. “It’s not like I’m doing it out of the blue.”

The event is expected to attract several members of the Highway Democratic Club, the centrist group led by Geller. Kagan also said Akselrod, Gournardes, Murphy, Brooklyn Democratic Party Chair Frank Seddio, congressional candidate Hakeem Jeffries, Comptroller John Liu, Councilmembers Michael Nelson and David Greenfield, State Senator Diane Savino and Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein will all be in attendance.

Comment policy


  1. I wonder if he will be endorsing Obama in the presidential election. If he does, I predict Mr. Kagan will be carried and thrown out into the street by the attending Russian American crowd. My guess is he won’t mention Obama at all.

  2. Mike Geller has described himself as a “Reagan Democrat”. He has supported conservative candidates, even Republican ones. The only difference is that Geller has been in Brooklyn politics for generations.

  3. Ari Kagan hates black people like the plague. He held a press conference recently where he slammed blacks for coming to the Brighton Beach Area. He said blacks should stay in coney island where they belong…good job voters!!!

  4. Ari most liberal political person we ever saw.
    Take from rich or middle class and give to poor.
    This is his philosophy.

  5. That was never my philosophy. I work at several jobs myself. I am a middle class person. I am also a member of an Executive Board of a Bensonhurst Business Club and Brighton Beach BID helping many small business owners. But I do care about low income seniors and people with disabilities.

  6. You were right. I did not mention Obama at all. My motto – all politics is local. And BTW, it was not just “Russian American crowd”. We live in the United States of America! I promised to work for everybody. And I will.

  7. Ari, stop used people. U have no friends. U only used them. For your future. If you can think once. Turn around and think.
    U and Storobin the same person only the name of the party is different.

  8. I never said it was just going to be a Russian American Crowd, I said the Russian Americans would be the one reacting. While this was a local event, still, the presidential election effects everyone. As a democrat I would suppose you support Obama, someone vast majority constituents probably oppose.

  9. Vast majority constituents oppose President Obama? You do know we are talking about Democratic Party here, not just Russian and Orthodox Jews, right?
    Also remember – new Congressional district, where President Obama is virtually guaranteed to win.

  10. Depends on where you live. Neighborhoods have been split up into parts of other districts. Parts of this area now share a congressman with parts of Staten Island.

  11. Ari, look around and say how many people you betrayed.You always good Only for right people. You have brain of soldier.


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