Fidler wins a walk

The Brooklyn Paper
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There’s four more years of Lew Fidler on the horizon.

With the polls closed Tuesday, the eight-year incumbent secured another term representing residents in Mill Basin, Mill Island, Marine Park, Canarsie, Bergen Beach and Gerritsen Beach by trouncing Republican challenger Gene Berardelli.

According to unofficial results, Fidler received 79 percent of the vote after 16,382 constituents “pulled the lever” for him. Berardelli received 19 percent, or 3,990 votes. Liberal challenger Dereck Sacerdote received the remaining one percent, which amounted to 271 votes.

Fidler called the results “dramatic and gratifying” -- especially since the results were ten percent better than they were four years ago.

“I’d like to think that [the results] are a validation of the work I’ve done,” he said. “It’s nice to know that it’s being noticed.”

He also said that his victory also proved that “negative campaigning isn’t tolerated” in the 46th District.

“The voters want the former rather than the latter,” he said.

But the voters weren’t the only ones singing his praises Tuesday. Some “celebrity talent” was as well.

Beloved American Idol contestant Sanjaya Malakar was seen handing out Fidler palm cards outside the American Legion Post on Avenue N and East 56th Street in Mill Basin.

“When I was told yesterday that he was coming I told them I’d believe it when I see it,” Fidler said. “But he turned out to be a lovely, humble guy. Lots of people were excited to see him although not everyone recognized him because he didn’t have his pony-hawk.”

Malakar’s appearance was a light-hearted end to an oftentimes bitter race between Fidler and Berardelli, whose campaign took political debate to a new low by creating, a disparaging web site filled with allegations of misconduct, silly mocked-up photos of Fidler, and a “Whack a Lew” game, where you get to punch, kick, tazer and take a bat to the two-term legislator.

While admitting that the web site was snarky and crass, Berardelli claimed that it presented “another side to an argument.”

One of those arguments included allegations that Fidler was “dividing Marine Park” by being in the pocket of a Marine Park Jewish Political Action Committee, who the web site claims wants to “change the face” of the community. Fidler said that the comments were anti-Semitic.

Political insiders said that Berardelli wasn’t representing his side of the story on election day, claiming that he was hardly seen at polling sites.

When contacted, Berardelli said that he and members of his campaign did go to a few polling centers, but decided against a final push.

“The voters walking in seemed determined and had already made up their minds,” Berardelli said.

“While you’re always in it to win it, I was very happy with the campaign,” he added. “We did a great job and built a base that others can now stand on in the [Republican] party.”

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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