Fidler Concedes, David Storobin Will Be State Senator

The Board of Elections finished counting all the ballots in the race to replace Carl Kruger, and Republican David Storobin won by 16 votes. The results will be certified next Tuesday, allowing Storobin to head to Albany immediately to be sworn in. His Democratic opponent, City Councilman Lew Fidler, issued the following statement minutes ago:

First, let me begin by saying “what a long strange trip it has been been,” and by offering my congratulations to David Storobin. In whatever time he may spend as the Senator from the 27th district, I pledge to work with him for the benefit of our community whenever and wherever we can find common ground.

There are so many thoughts that one would want to express after this surreal experience. I will address those that my sensibilities say should be expressed and leave other thoughts for another day.

First and foremost, I want to express my appreciation and gratitude to the hundreds of people who worked their hearts out in this effort, and to the thousands who showed their support at the polls or in some other way. In an election that was this nasty, this hard fought – and this long – I am left with a choice: to dwell on the disappointment of falling a handful of votes short, or to focus on the faith and commitment that so many showed by believing in me and what I have stood for during my years in public service. I said on election night before we knew the outcome: I was already a winner for the support and love that was shown to me by so many.

I also take a great deal of solace in knowing that in the areas of the 27th Senate District that cover my existing Council district, I received overwhelming support from the voters. That is most gratifying.

Of course, I am disappointed in the overall result and the many messages it may be sending about politics in our community and our borough.

I am also very troubled by a clear fallacy of the Election Law which enabled Mr. Storobin’s campaign to violate the law without repercussion. The court made clear that the Storobin campaign engaged in activity that was in violation of the law. New York State law simply does not permit early mail-in voting unless voters are legally qualified to vote early. Nonetheless, I have decided not to appeal the court’s decision. It is my feeling that the law simply does not provide the remedy of disenfranchising voters whose ballots were handled in such an improper manner and with such disregard for the law. But such violations of the Election Law must not continue. I urge the legislature to fix this loophole before the practices of the Storobin campaign become commonplace in future elections. Appealing the court’s decision, however, would only extend an already too long saga, at unnecessary cost to the taxpayers.

Since the polls closed on March 20th, I have continued to be hard at work as the Councilman for the 46th district, a job I love and will continue to do with all my zeal through the remainder of my term in office. I am at complete peace with the results of this election, satisfied that I can continue to be in a job that I love, enjoy the love of my wonderful wife and family, have the opportunity to continue my recovery from the serious health issue that afflicted me in the middle of the campaign and to serve the people of Brooklyn and New York.

There are way too many people to thank individually. Surely, I do have to single out my campaign manager Kalman Yeger and my wife Robin. Thanks to the hundreds of volunteers from the 41st AD Democrats Club (come down and join us on Avenue R), the TJ Club, The Highway, Progressive and Shorefront Clubs. To the Senate Democrats, the donors, the party leaders and elected officials who stood up for the cause, all too numerous to mention. To my terrific City Council staff and campaign team.

I want to say a special note of thanks to my supporters in both the Orthodox and Russian-speaking communities, many of whom took an enormous amount of unique grief for their ardent support. It will not be forgotten.

I look forward to the challenges ahead. I have spent my life in public service and have no intention of stopping that now. I guess I am simply not destined to be the Mayor of Mooseport. There are many ways to serve. The voters have spoken and I am sure that G-d has a plan for me. I look forward to unfolding it with you.

In the meanwhile, let’s get back to work on those citywide youth budget cuts.


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