Deutsch Bests Kagan By 300 Votes, Winning Democratic Primary To Replace Nelson


Flatbush Shomrim founder Chaim Deutsch eked out a narrow, last-minute victory in his effort to replace his boss, Michael Nelson, as the City Council representative for the 48th District.

It was a tense night, showing a neck-in-neck race with rival Ari Kagan, a Russian-American journalist and activist also seeking the nod in the Democratic primary. From the moment the first voting precinct began reporting shortly after 9 p.m., until more than 85 percent of the votes were tallied, Kagan appeared to be in the lead. But as the final 15 percent of votes were counted, Deutsch pulled off a narrow victory, edging out the other top contender by just 300 votes.

Candidate # of votes % of total votes
Chaim Deutsch 3,081 33.86
Ari Kagan 2,785  30.61
Theresa Scavo 1,666 18.31
Igor Oberman 1,307 14.37
Natraj Bhushan 259 2.85

“This election is and has always been about the people. I ran to serve because serving the public is all I ever wanted to do. I hear the cry of help from the elderly. I feel the pain of parents who cannot make ends meet. And I understand the serious challenges facing every community in this district,” Deutsch said in his victory speech outside of his Avenue U campaign headquarters. “I pledge to be the leader who brings all of our communities together to make life better for all.”

Deutsch stood ringed by a multi-cultural group of supporters, hailing largely from the Orthodox Jewish community, as well as from the Asian and Muslim communities. He touted his ability to bring together a diverse coalition to overcome the demographic challenges that arose from redistricting, which turned the 48th Councilmanic District into a “Super-Russian District.”

“It is beautiful to see how many diverse neighborhoods came together to support me and my candidacy and this community and bring us to victory tonight,” he said.

Nelson, who celebrated with the candidate, boasted of Deutsch’s qualifications, character and accomplishments.

“Sometimes the nice guy wins, and this is an example of where it actually can happen,” Nelson said. “He’s been doing my job, so to speak, for a long time. He’s the go to guy when people have problems.”

But victory is not yet certain. Although Deutsch snagged 33.86 percent of the vote, Kagan is a close second, with 30.61 percent. The difference is not enough to trigger a manual recount as seen in the State Senate race between David Storobin and Lew Fidler, but the Kagan campaign said they’re not yet calling it quits.

“Right now it’s a close race. We’re going to wait for all the ballots to be counted,” said Kagan spokesperson Jake Oliver.

With scores of absentee ballots uncounted and reports of malfunctioning voting machines, the Kagan campaign could theoretically rally the 297 votes required to surpass Deutsch.

That fact didn’t seem to instill doubt on Nelson. On hearing the poll numbers come in, Nelson called on Republican David Storobin to pull out of the elections before November.

“Dave is a nice guy. But I think, for the sake of the community, he should concede,” Nelson told Sheepshead Bites. “David, you could be a really good guy, but the community would lose with you.”

Deutsch had his own words for his general election rival.

“You see all the people here?” he said, gesturing to the crowd. “That’s the message for David Storobin.”

But Storobin may not be the only opponent Deutsch has come November. Igor Oberman, who came in fourth with 14.37 percent of the vote, is also on the Working Families Party line. A concession statement from the campaign suggested that he may not seek the seat in the general election, but the campaign has not confirmed that as of this writing.

Following the results, Community Board 15 Chairperson Theresa Scavo, who secured 18.31 percent of the vote, offered up a humbled thank you to her supporters via Twitter.

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  1. Mr.Nelson
    Why Republican have to pull out?
    What unity are you talking about?
    I don’t know Mr. Deusch and I don’t know Mr.Starobin , but I want to hear different
    ideas from different parties ,not only Dem’s bs

  2. Chaim is a good guy, but his campaign was very dirty. He hired people to rip down posters at midnight of other candidates and had different minority groups he promised bullshit standing 90-150 feet from poll sites. Board of Elections is a joke for not acting on it. This guy only gives a shit about Orthodox people. Let’s get real, if us Russians joined forces and didn’t attack each other, we would have had Ari or Igor winning easily.

  3. CM Nelson looks washed up in this Also, to the writer above, I personally saw his goons near William E. Grady HS blatantly violating election rules by handing out literature in front of the polling site. For all of his atacking of Ari about his name, he did the very same thing….can you say hippocrite(?!)

  4. give me a break. If any rules were being broken at poll sites, they should have been reported to poll workers. When a poll worker saw a hired kaganer handing out flyers at the front door of PS52, he was asked to move. Not standing 100 feet away from the poll site is hardly the most egregious accusation of the day. The notion that Chaim hired people to rip down posters is ridiculous. Chaim’s message got out. His election day people were mostly, if not ALL volunteers. Their passion could not be matched by the hired guns (who were so detached from the race) used by the other candidates.

  5. It is disappointing that voter turnout was so abysmally low. In winning, Chaim garnered only 3,081 votes and a paltry 9,100 votes were cast in total. When I cast my ballot, I was only voter in my polling place. The poll workers there were sitting around with nothing to do. Attaining good government is difficult when the electorate is indifferent. Those who don’t vote shouldn’t complain when their elected leaders disappoint.

  6. I don’t think we’ve seen the last of Kagan, that guy us allergic to work and will certainly try to get on some ballot somewhere. We know that Deutsch is only out for the Hasidic community. I think I’m gonna vote for somebody who can speak English and has a job, not some unemployed doofus who’s only running because that’s his meal ticket. The list is quickly shortening….

  7. i will vote for him for sure if he opens up membership to his BSSP army! i want to run red light with lights/sirens like his boys do all the time!

  8. I am a Theresa Scavo voter. I supported her with all my efforts and am not embarrassed to say so. What concerned me throughout this election was the slime and attempts to buy our community from the PAC with the misleading name of JOBS4NY. It was the landlord lobby PAC. The disgusting slime sent out by them mostly against Theresa, but admittedly also against Chaim and Igor disgusted me. Theresa was the first candidate to raise this issue and attacked these mailings in debates, twitter and in a detailed flyer she sent out. I am proud to say that the St. Mark’s polling station which includes most of the Apartment Buildings (i.e. rentals) on Ocean Avenue went for Theresa. This and the vote rejecting Mr. Kagan, who JOBS4NY spent over $400,OOO on, indicates that our community can be proud of itself. It rejected this conduct. As of now, it appears that Chaim is the victor. I understand the need of Mr. Kagan to check on each vote . That is his legal right, and i have no problem with that. What I hope for, is that in the general election, Mr. Storobin and Mr. Deutsch reject any support from JOBS4NY and debate the issues of importance to our community. if Mr. Oberman decides to continue his campaign on the WFP line, i anticipate that he will also reject JOBS4NY since he criticized them during the primary. Our community has already rejected the JOBS4NY Agenda. Let’s not distract from the November debate, with additional drivel from JOBS4NY.

  9. Truth be told the few people that actually give a %^$& about voting have made their mind up more than 100 ft from the poll…Guess he was the best of the poor choices…almost feel bad for Carlos Danger

  10. Chaim is an honest person and his campaign was one of the most clean and honest I’ve seen EVER. The polling sites all had officers who enforced the distance rule, and inspectors from Board of Elections who went to each polling site and spoke to the volunteers there. If something was fishy or improper, they would have caught it. Also, all of Chaim’s opponents have posters on stores on Avenue U by his campaign office. If he was ripping posters down, don’t you think he would have ripped those down. Nobody had posters on lamp posts or anywhere outisde, it”s actually impossible to accuse him of that. Check your facts.

  11. Chaim is a good guy and his campaign was clean. He has never sent any literature trashing his opponents, he has never accused anyone. The name issue, I believe, was misunderstood. Kagan speaks from both sides of his mouths and pretends to be a friend of different communities with different agenda. I hope it is over but as was said by one of the commentators, Kagan will find a ballot to be on. We are different people with the different background and different opinions but we all understand what is right and what is wrong. I did say that I am for Chaim, so thanks to everyone who supported a real down to earth hardworking individual. Hope Chaim will celebrate a big victory on November.5.
    BTW talking about posters. Three or four weeks ago, I saw people on Brighton 5 street about 10 p,m, trying to take off Oberman poster and put Ari’s instead. Any comments?

  12. Congrats to Chaim. Nevertheless, I hope he runs his local office better than his predecessor. It seems any time I called Mike Nelson’s office, as a working journalist or a constituent, I always got a voice mail, NEVER a live person. When I asked others in the know about this situation, I was informed “that’s the way he operates.” Furthermore, as a constituent, I rarely got a follow-up to determine why I called. Let’s hope Mr. Deutsch serves the community better than the man he is replacing..

  13. There must be hundreds of thousands of people in this district. I think that 1 or 2% voted. That’s pathetic

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