Southern Brooklyn

MBCG To Host Debate Tomorrow, But Cymbrowitz Skips Out (Corrected)

Assemblyman Steve Cymbrowitz, Independent Party candidate Ben Akselrod and Republican Russ Gallo. Cymbrowitz will not attend the debate.

The Manhattan Beach Community Group will host a debate during its meeting tomorrow night featuring candidates for Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz’s seat. (Corrected)

Except Cymbrowitz won’t be there.

The group announced the debates earlier this month, noting on its website that Republican Russ Gallo will join them, along with Ben Akselrod, representing the Independence Party following his primary defeat against Cymbrowitz.

“Mr. Cymbrowitz has declined, in writing, stating that the MBCG is unable to be impartial,” they wrote on their website.

According to Brooklyn Daily, Cymbrowitz sent a letter stating, “A community group that has expressed public criticism of any candidate is simply not an appropriate sponsor for a debate.”

The paper adds:

Cymbrowitz also accused Zalcman of harassment during the primary, claiming the civic leader called police to make sure his campaign staff stayed an appropriate distance from the polling site at PS 195.

“I actually saw Ira Zalcman giving my workers a hard time, and he even called the police out to measure the 100 feet,” said Cymbrowitz. “So, that’s what it was about.”

Zalcman refuted those allegations as well.

“I went to PS 195 in the morning, I voted, and I left,” he said.

State Senator Marty Golden and Democratic challenger Andrew Gounardes are also expected to go toe-to-toe again make an appearance, after a series of contentious debates largely in the Bay Ridge/Dyker Heights section of the district.

During their first debate on October 9, the two resorted to attacks, at times raising their voices as they discussed women’s rights, guns and education, among other topics. They repeated their performance in a debate last week. and tomorrow night’s event will bring the electoral brawl home to Southern Brooklyn.

However, the two aren’t formally debating tomorrow, the group told Sheepshead Bites. They will each be allowed 5-minute statements and may take a few questions from the audience, but organizers did not think it would be practical to hold two debates.

The Manhattan Beach Community Group will also give updates to its members on the dog run and other community developments.

The meeting is tomorrow, October 24, at 8:00 p.m. in the auditorium of P.S. 195 (131 Irwin Street).

CORRECTION (5:09 p.m.): The original version of this article indicated that Golden and Gounardes would be debating at the meeting. We have been informed that that is not the case, and have updated the article to reflect that. We apologize for any confusion.

Comment policy


  1. So the debate ends up being Mr. “Negrohood” vs. Mr. “Anti-Craigslist”
    The winner will be decided by whomever gets their head further up their own asses. My money is on Gallo since his head isn’t as round.

  2. It worked so well for Romney! Let’s hope the empty chair shtick will work just as well for these two candidates…

  3. IMO, Cymbrowitz has been doing a good job. I will cast my vote for him again. We know who we have , but we don’t know who we will get. I would never vote for someone so desperate as to talk about who one is married to. Ben Akselrod is a real jerk and I know nothing about Gallo and I would never trust a REPUBLICAN. They
    are not for the people. Good Luck to Mr. Cymbrowitz. I hope you retain your office for the next term.


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