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A Russian-language media mogul threw his ushanka in the ring as a last-minute candidate for a council seat that represents Brooklyn’s “Little Odessa” —but he’s going to need voters to bring their pens to voting booths on Nov. 5.
Newspaper and radio tycoon Gregory Davidzon is using his multi-media influence to run as a write-in candidate for seat of term-limited Councilman Mike Nelson (D–Brighton Beach) — pitting himself against Democratic Nelson aide Chaim Deutsch and Republican former state Sen. David Storobin.
Davidzon, an independent who is not registered to vote, touted his experience as a businessman, and his commitment to public safety and free enterprise, in announcing his candidacy — issues he argued are especially important in the wake of last year’s superstorm and the impending exit of Mayor Bloomberg.
“With our economy far from robust, still suffering after Sandy, and with the city entering the post-Bloomberg era, it’s vital that our community be represented by a councilman who understands the economy,” Davidzon said
But even Davidzon supporters said that the candidate — whose name will not be on the ballot — is unlikely to win.
“It’s a long shot. An uphill battle,” said Assemblyman Alec Brook-Krasny (D–Coney Island), who has endorsed Davidzon’s bid for office.
Brook-Krasny said he was supporting Davidzon because he believed the newspaper and radio magnate has a deep understanding of the needs of the constituents of Sheepshead Bay, Brighton Beach, Manhattan Beach, and parts of Midwood — the so-called “Super-Russian district.” The elected predicted Davidzon would draw strong support from Russian speakers — just as Brook-Krasny’s unsuccessful 2000 write-in bid for state Assembly did.
“I think we need to energize the Russian community,” said Brook-Krasny.
But a political insider said that Davidzon’s campaign was in fact an attempt to bolster the American-born Deutsch by drawing Soviet emigre votes away from the Russian-born Storobin — whom Davidzon has feuded with in the past. Davidzon backed Storobin’s opponent, Councilman Lew Fidler (D–Marine Park), in the special election to replace disgraced State Sen. Carl Kruger last year. Storobin won that round.
“They’re trying to hurt Storobin, and help Chaim Deutsch,” the party insider said.
But Brook-Krasny said it was not in Davidzon’s personality to run as a straw candidate.
“Knowing Gregory, I think he is running to win,” the pol said. “He is not running as a spoiler.”
In any case, there already is another Russian-speaking candidate in the race for the 48th — and his name will actually be on the ballot. Igor Oberman, who lost the Democratic nomination to Deutsch, is still running on the Working Families Party line.
©2013 Community Newspaper Group
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