Cymbrowitz To Face Ben Akselrod In Democratic Primary Challenge

Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz will face off against Ben Akselrod, a Russian-speaking Orthodox Jew, in a Democratic primary that may unseat the 12-year veteran of the Assembly.

Rumors first surfaced of a potential Akselrod campaign in mid-April on Politicker, and last Friday he registered a campaign committee. He will officially announce his campaign this weekend at Baku Palace, just a stone’s throw from the assemblymember’s district office.

According to Politicker, an Akselrod candidacy in the general election could possibly stymie growing Southern Brooklyn support for Republicans, particularly among Russian and Orthodox voters who turned out to deliver wins to Bob Turner and David Storobin in what was believed to be heavily Democratic areas (True, Storobin’s win is not yet official; however, regardless of whether he obtains the seat or not, the upset from a political unknown is widely regarded as a GOP victory).

In 2010, Cymbrowitz obtained only 57 percent of the vote when he was challenged in the general election by Joseph Hayon, a relatively unknown Orthodox Jew who campaigned on a platform of ultra-conservative social issues – a prequel to the increasing political muscle of the conservative Orthodox community, which more recently revealed itself as a devastating obstacle to Democratic incumbency.

Similarly, whoever wins the Democratic primary for the 45th District will likely have a Republican opponent in the general election, as the GOP sets its eyes on future gains across Southern Brooklyn. And with Kruger’s seat vanishing and a new “Super Jewish” district being created (for which Simcha Felder has announced intentions), some observers suggest David Storobin may make a go for the seat.

Correction (5/7/2012): The original version of this article mistakenly stated that Cymbrowitz faces Joseph Hayon in 2008. It was actually 2010, and the post has been updated to reflect that.


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