Councilman Lew Fidler (D–Marine Park) took an 87-vote lead over Republican David Storobin in the race to replace disgraced state Sen. Carl Kruger yesterday after the Board of Elections counted several hundred unopened absentee ballots — but Brooklyn’s version of the 2000 Bush vs. Gore presidential election is far from over.
Fidler surged ahead of Storobin — who was clinging to a three-vote lead following the March 20 special election — after a judge ordered the board to count more than 200 votes that both camps contested in court.
Fidler spokesman Kalman Yeger cheered the results.
“Lew continues to look forward to the swift conclusion of this count so he can get to work in Albany,” Yeger said.
But the wacky race isn’t over: it still hinges on 119 absentee ballots Fidler claims Storobin obtained illegally.
If Supreme Court Judge Larry Martin throws these contested votes out, Fidler’s lead would hold, but if Judge Martin orders the votes added to the final tally, Storobin would likely take a slim lead — assuming that he received a vast majority of the ballots.
Storobin feels that he will be victorious if Judge Martin lets the contested votes stand.
“There are still more than 130 ballots yet to be counted, almost all of which we expect will be cast for David Storobin and will make him the winner,” said David Simpson, a spokesman for the Storobin campaign. “Once the court orders those ballots to be counted, Mr. Fidler’s premature victory claim is going to make him look pretty silly.”
Martin is expected to rule on the allegedly fraudulent votes in the coming weeks.
But if the winning margin doesn’t exceed 110 votes, the city is required to conduct a costly hand-by-hand recount — a move that would delay the outcome even further.
Regardless, whoever wins will only have a few months in office before Kruger’s district disappears.
State legislators finalized new political maps that divvied up the ex-pol’s old stomping grounds between Sen. Marty Golden (R–Bay Ridge), Senate Minority leader John Sampson (D–Canarsie) and a new district that will encompass Borough Park, Midwood and parts of Homecrest.
Thursday’s ballot counting was the latest chapter in a closely-watched race that started when Kruger resigned in disgrace last December hours before pleading guilty to taking $1 million in bribes from lobbyists and developers. He was sentenced to seven years in prison last week.
Storobin emerged with a 120-vote lead on election night, but his lead shrank to three votes after half of the 700-plus absentee ballots and affidavits were tallied.Reach reporter Daniel Bush at email@example.com or by calling (718) 260-8310. Follow him at twitter.com/dan_bush.
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