Boris Noble Drops Out of Sheepshead Bay Council Race

Boris Noble (Image: campaign)

Boris Noble dropped out of the race for the District 48 Council seat in southern Brooklyn on Wednesday, citing health complications stemming from coronavirus.

Noble, a former housing analyst for the Brooklyn Borough President’s office, said in a statement released yesterday afternoon that he was suffering from “long haul” health effects related to the virus.

“Despite now testing negative for Coronavirus and overcoming many of the onset symptoms I had, I noticed that my hands would shake uncontrollably,” he wrote. “I was incredibly tired and my brain was in a fog – I had significant trouble concentrating. After a week, I found I had lost 15 pounds.”

Noble said a visit to the doctor confirmed the diagnosis, and that, after consulting with his team and determining he would not be able to commit to at least one campaign a day, he decided that “it would not be right for me to attempt to continue my campaign when I am not able to go out and talk to potential constituents.”

“I love talking with neighbors and helping them find solutions to their problems, but in my current state that is not possible,” Noble’s statement continued. “And I have no idea when it will be possible.”

He encouraged supporters to take the virus seriously and to “be kind and understanding” to those impacted by the disease.

Noble had raised just over $80,000 over the course of his campaign to replace term-limited Council Member Chaim Deutsch for the seat, which includes Brighton Beach, Manhattan Beach, Sheepshead Bay and parts of Midwood.

About $58,000 of that was from the city’s public matching funds program, which matches small contributions from city residents. He had picked up endorsements from several major labor unions, 32BJ SEIU, DC37 and the Hotel Trades Council.

Noble’s endorsements. (Image: campaign website)

Noble’s departure leaves six candidates in the race to represent this conservative-leaning district. Thus far, Shorefront Coalition founder and special education teacher Steven Saperstein, who previously ran for the seat as a Republican before switching parties last year, has led the pack in fundraising.

According to data from the city’s Campaign Finance Board, Saperstein holds a sizable lead over his competitors in both total money raised (just under $214,000, including $160,444 in matching funds), and in the number of in-district contributions received (243). 

Some of Saperstein’s money has come from real estate, the industry in which several of his family members work. But he’s also the only candidate to receive the maximum amount of matching funds; he now has over $138,000 in the bank, far more than the rest of the field.

Noble’s closest competitor in the June 22nd Democratic primary is likely former Deutsch staffer Mariya Markh. She’s raised less than half of what Saperstein has—just over $90,000, including about $67,000 in matching funds, with 111 contributions from within the district. But she has the backing of several local elected officials, including Assembly Members Steven Cymbrowitz, Helene Weinstein and Jaime Williams; Council Member Alan Maisel; State Senator Roxanne Persaud; and former Brooklyn Democratic Party boss Frank Seddio.

Also running in the Democratic primary are radio host Heshy Tischler; litigation attorney Binyomin Bendet; and nonprofit CEO Amber Adler. None of them have qualified for matching funds thus far.

Another candidate, attorney Inna Vernikov, is running for the seat as a Republican. She’s taken in about $20,000 to date, though her fundraising will likely pick up steam as the general election approaches in November.

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Billy Richling

Billy Richling

Billy Richling is a staff reporter for Bklyner, covering politics, real estate and everything else. He lives in Flatbush, and previously worked as Constituent & Communications Manager for the Times Square Alliance. Talk to him about baseball, buses and bagels.

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