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The race to replace Carl Kruger

Fidler loses by 27 votes

Brooklyn Daily
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David Storobin has retaken the lead in the race to replace prison-bound ex-pol Carl Kruger — and this time it might stick.

The Republican rookie took a 27-vote lead over Councilman Lew Fidler (D–Marine Park) Monday morning after the Board of Elections tallied the last remaining votes from the still-too-close-to-call March 20 special election.

Storobin spokesman Liam McCabe applauded the results — and demanded the city dispense with a costly and time-consuming hand recount, which is required by law if the winning margin is less than 110 votes.

“With the final votes counted David Storobin is clearly the winner,” McCabe said. “We don’t think a recount is necessary. To drag this thing on for another few weeks is ridiculous.”

But Fidler spokesman Kalman Yeger insisted the recount will take place, and refused to concede the race until the recount is over.

“We continue to look forward to a speedy count so the person who received the most votes can take office,” Yeger said.

Storobin took a 120-vote lead on election night, but his margin of victory shrank to just three votes after several hundred absentee ballots and affidavits were counted.

Both sides contested approximately 300 ballots in court, and Fidler — who was the presumed frontrunner in the race — emerged with an 87-vote lead after most of the votes in Brooklyn’s version of Florida’s 2000 Bush vs. Gore election were tallied earlier this month.

But a judge ordered the city to count 119 votes that Fidler claimed the Storobin campaign obtained illegally — giving the Soviet-born attorney and first-time candidate his fresh lead of just over two-dozen ballots.

The result has yet to be certified by the Board of Elections, which did not return calls seeking comment.

The recount has not been rescheduled, so it’s unclear how long it would take.

Regardless, whoever wins will only have a few months in office: the state approved new political maps that divvied Kruger’s old-stomping grounds up between two borough state senators and a “Super Jewish” district that encompasses Borough Park, Midwood and Homecrest. The district is set to be wiped off the map at the end of the year.

The race started last year after Kruger resigned hours before pleading guilty to accepting $1 million in bribes. Two weeks ago he was sentenced to seven years in prison.

Reach reporter Daniel Bush at dbush@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-8310. Follow him at twitter.com/dan_bush.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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