And then there were... none.
Using petition challenges as a scalpel, supporters for City Council incumbent Lew Fidler managed to cut out all three challengers in the race for the 46th Council District, allowing the third-term hopeful to skate to the September 15 primary unopposed.
The last challenger against Fidler, Alan J. Sasson, was knocked off the ballot on August 5, according to the Board of Elections.
Sasson opted against going to court to fight the Board of Elections’ determination that he was light 37 petition signatures of registered Democrats in the 46th District, which encompasses a wide swath of south Brooklyn that includes Bergen Beach, Canarsie, Georgetowne, Starrett City, Flatlands, Marine Park, Mill Basin, Mill Island, Gerritsen Beach and Sheepshead Bay.
Two other candidates, Elias J. Weir and Ayo O. Johnson, were knocked off the ballot the previous Monday for not having the required 900 petition signatures needed to get on the ballot.
But what could have been an ugly courtroom brawl ended peacefully, with Fidler apparently making a new friend.
Fidler was so impressed with Sasson’s campaign that he left the door open to work with the new attorney sometime in the future.
Sasson took Fidler up on the offer and visited the incumbent’s political club with his wife on Thursday.
“He stayed for several hours,” said Fidler. “I think it’s fair to say that in this particular case someone I didn’t know before all this started has become someone I’m looking forward to working with.”
Fidler made no bones about what some would call a distasteful tactic to prevent a primary from happening before it even gets rolling.
“The rules are the rules,” he said. “Getting one out of every 50 registered Democrats in the district to sign a petition isn’t a huge burden, but [my three challengers] averaged only 560 legitimate signatures.”
“If I had fallen short on my signatures, I’m sure one of my opponents would have challenged me,” he said.
Come this November, Fidler will be going toe to toe with Republican challenger Gene Berardelli, a member of the Sheepshead Bay/Plumb Beach Civic Association.
“I hear Mr. Berardelli seems prepared to run a spirited campaign,” Fidler said.