While State Senate District 27 includes just a small portion of our coverage area, we wanted to give our readers some background on the election, as well as an update on its outcome (or lack thereof).
Yesterday’s contentious special election for State Senator ended with both sides declaring victory in a race that’s still too close to call.
With all precincts reporting, David Storobin, 33, held onto a slim 120-vote lead over Lewis A. Fidler, 55, the Democratic city councilman for the 27th District seat.
However, there were still at least 757 outstanding paper ballots, which will not be counted until Tuesday, Valerie Vazquez, a spokeswoman for the board of elections, told the NY Times. The entire process, including a random audit and the counting of emergency ballots, could take at least 10 days.
From the Times:
“We fought all the way from the start with everyone saying we were the underdogs,” Mr. Storobin said after midnight on Wednesday. “We are confident that we will keep our lead and increase it.”
Mr. Storobin, who was born in the Soviet Union and emigrated to the United States with his mother when he was 12, surprised the Democratic establishment with an aggressive campaign that drew on support from Orthodox communities.
“It’s a Cinderella story. It’s an ugly duckling story,” he said. “I am proud and humbled to be elected to New York State Senate. It’s only something that can happen in America.”
And yet, Mr. Fidler asserted his own victory. By his campaign’s count, he was ahead 207 votes. According to the board of elections, Mr. Storobin received 10,756 votes, and Mr. Fidler had 10,636.
“The good folks of Southern Brooklyn want someone with integrity to represent them,” said Jennifer Krinsky, his chief spokeswoman. “Every step of the way, Mr. Storobin has shown with his lies that he’s not the candidate for them, and the voters spoke today.”
The short, yet very negative and expensive race began when Carl Kruger resigned his position as State Senator and plead guilty to corruption charges last December. According to the Times, more than a quarter of a million dollars was raised and spent in just three months by Storobin and Fidler – the two men seeking to replace him.
The two candidates, who are both Jewish, spent much of the race competing for credibility with the Orthodox and Hasidic sects which make up a large portion of the community, which in turn only served to alienate much of the rest of the electorate.
After Fidler said that Storobin’s writings indicated “ties to skinheads, neo-Nazis,” Storobin went on the offensive, gaining the support of many in the conservative-leaning Orthodox Jewish community, and getting some 24 Orthodox Rabbis to criticize Fidler’s comments in the process.
The negativity continued as Flatbush Jewish Journal ran a declaration on its front page, saying that it was “prohibited to vote for Lew Fidler” because he “wants to teach same-gender marriage to 6-year-old children.”
City and State reported allegations of misconduct during yesterday’s vote, including an accusation from Councilman David Greenfield, who “tweeted that a hit-and-run incident occurred outside Cunningham [Junior] High School… Greenfield says a driver in a van hit a Fidler volunteer, then jumped out, grabbed up Fidler [campaign literature] and zoomed off.”
An NYPD spokesperson, Deputy Inspector Kim Royster, is quoted in the Times as saying the Fidler supporter was not hit by a car, though “there was also a dispute nearby involving a campaign poster torn off a pole.”
The winner of the special election for State Senate will only be in office for eight months, as District 27 will disappear at the end of the year due to redistricting.
Please check out our sister site Sheepshead Bites for more in depth coverage, as well as the latest updates on the still-disputed outcome of this election.