The dust hasn’t come close to settling and reporters are already guessing at who might take State Senator Carl Kruger’s place if he resigns. The New York Observer is saying that City Councilman Lew Fidler is a likely choice, as is Brooklyn Borough President Community Liaison Igor Oberman, and Russian-American defense attorney David Storobin is saying he’s shooting for a spot on the Republican ticket.
In several conversations with Brooklyn pols and political insiders the names that emerge most frequently are City Council member Lew Fidler and Igor Oberman, an administrative law judge who works part time as a liason to the Russian-American community for borough president Marty Markowitz.
Fidler is in his last term as a City Councilman and is likely considering open positions to continue his political career. The Observer notes his name has been tossed around as a potential candidate for District Attorney or Borough President, but a State Senate position would allow him to keep his law practice. In the past, gay rights advocates and liberals have attempted to push the City Councilman to run for Kruger’s seat in the past. Fidler, though, was not up to the challenge of competing with Kruger’s $2.2 million warchest and a gay rights platform in a district dominated by Orthodox Jewish interests.
Igor Oberman was set to challenge Kruger in the Democratic primaries last year. The Russian-American judge slammed Kruger for his failure to serve constituents, MTA cuts and Kruger’s support for an amphitheater at Asser-Levy Park. He quietly bowed out of the race before the primaries, then resurfaced months later working for Borough President Marty Markowitz. That move may cost him credibility and votes if he is mulling a run, since Markowitz is the chief proponent for the Asser-Levy amphitheater, which many in the district oppose.
But either of these candidates are likely to face a challenger in the general election. Sources involved in Southern Brooklyn Republican politics say that lawyer David Storobin might be the party’s pick for the 27th Senate District election. Storobin is an attorney whose Russian-American background and Republican politics may play well with the neighborhood’s demographics.
When we called Storobin to confirm, he said that he’s definitely got an eye on the seat.
“It is something I’m mulling over. If I were to get the support of the Republican party, it’s something I would strongly consider,” Storobin said. And though the area is traditionally considered Democratic, he’s optimistic considering recent voting history. “I think that if I would run, I would win. I would not agree this is a Democratic area. It voted for McCain, for Giuliani, for Bush” and others, he said.
Just last week, Storobin published an article slamming Carl Kruger’s abuses and declaring the need for more Russian-American representation in city and state politics. Storobin argued that Russian-Americans need to be “seen as equals who can break through the political glass ceiling” by winning elections. A Republican insider told Sheepshead Bites that Storobin may be one of the few candidates from the Republican party to have the clout and fundraising ability to successfully challenge a Democrat.
Of course, Kruger has not yet resigned is seat, and is not likely to in the near future. A corruption case can be drawn out, and Kruger would be legally allowed to keep his seat until convicted.