Ex-Soviet won’t concede Dyker seat

The Brooklyn Paper
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The Board of Elections said this week that the razor-close race between two former Soviets for a Dyker Heights Assembly seat is officially over — but that hasn’t stopped the loser from fighting on.

According to the vote count certified this week, Alec Brook-Krasny, the Moscow-born head of the Jewish Emigre Community Organization, edged out his former countryman Ari Kagan by a mere 143 votes in the Sept. 12 Democratic primary.

But Kagan, a Minsk-born reporter for the Russian Jewish Forward newspaper, isn’t acknowledging defeat. Instead, he’s alleging electoral fraud.

“I did not concede the election,” Kagan told The Brooklyn Papers. “I am still talking to my lawyers, and we are considering legal action.

“We are aware of too many irregularities and violations of election law, and we have to provide justice for the Democrats who wanted to vote, but could not.”

Kagan would not elaborate on the alleged electoral shenanigans, but his campaign manager offered a few choice tidbits.

“Poll-watchers were thrown out of polls, levers were pulled without people’s permission, voters were intimidated,” said Gayle Shawn. “A lot of the Russians said it was like voting in a Third-World country.”

When The Brooklyn Papers asked Brook-Krasny for a reaction, he simply laughed and said, “No comment.”

Then he commented.

“I really don’t know what Kagan is talking about,” he said. “Every registered Democrat who wanted to vote was able to vote.”

Then, Brook-Krasny reiterated his charges that Kagan was once a Communist party member.

“That’s below the belt,” Kagan retorted. “I will not dignify any more of his statements with my response. End of story.”

For his part, Brook-Krasny doesn’t seem too concerned.

“I feel great,” said Brook-Krasny. His immediate plans include opening an office in Bay Ridge and campaigning for the Nov. 7 general election.

“Even though people are saying I don’t really have Republican opposition, I think I do.”

As a matter of fact (and election law), he does.

Bay Ridgite Patricia Laudano is running on the Republican line, although insiders say she doesn’t stand a chance.

“The district is 80 percent Democrat, so it’s unlikely she can get more than 20 percent of the vote,” said Marty Levine, a Coney Island activist who was once a candidate for the seat, but withdrew during the Kagan-Brook-Krasny mudfest.

“Quite a lot of Russian emigres are Republicans, but they will cross over to vote for Brook-Krasny.”

Updated 4:00 pm, November 10, 2010
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