Cymbrowitz defeats Akselrod — again

Brooklyn Daily
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The second time’s the charm.

Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz (D–Sheepshead Bay) has defeated his challenger, the newly minted Republican Ben Askelrod, for the second time in two months.

Akselrod, who is the President of the Bay Democrats, lost to the 14-year incumbent in the Democratic primary by more than 500 ballots — but secured the Republican nomination with 46 write-in votes. He lost the general election by 1,379 votes, with Cymbrowitz taking more than 54 percent of the total.

Askelrod’s last-minute Republican campaign — which he refused to publicly announce until 12 days before the election — didn’t earn him the same endorsements as his Democratic primary bid. His general election party was scheduled to be at the same spot as his primary party, but the attendance was strikingly different.

When the Republican candidate — who is still a registered Democrat — hosted his September party, the crowd was overflowing with current and former Democratic elected officials, such as former Sheepshead Bay Councilman Michael Nelson, Councilman Mark Treyger (D–Coney Island), Assemblyman Bill Colton (D–Bensonhurs­t), and many of the parties’ local district leaders.

But on Tuesday night, not only were those elected officials absent — not even Akselrod showed up. He decided to call it off after he saw the results weren’t in his favor.

“It doesn’t look promising,” he said.

Reach reporter Vanessa Ogle at or by calling (718) 260–4507. Follow her
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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