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Special Election for Brooklyn State Senate Seat Too Close to Call

BROOKLYN  (AP) — The special election to fill the Brooklyn state Senate seat formerly held by Carl Kruger is too close to call.

Democrat Lew Fidler and Republican David Storobin were seesawing in the election Tuesday to fill the seat that was vacated when Kruger pleaded guilty to corruption-related charges in December.

With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Storobin led by 120 votes, according to an unofficial tally by The Associated Press. A total of 2,090 absentee ballots were issued. There were still at least 757 paper ballots outstanding, and the process of determining the winner could take up to 10 days, according to The New York Times.

The heavily Democratic Brooklyn Senate district that Fidler and Storobin fought for will disappear, lost to the once-every-decade process of redrawing election district lines. The winner will still be able to run for a full term in November, but the district where they run will be determined by where they live.

Theirs was the highest-profile race among five being waged in Tuesday's special election. Assembly seats in Westchester County, the Hudson Valley and the Buffalo area were also up for grabs.

Fidler, a city councilman for the past 10 years, and Storobin, a Russian-born lawyer, have waged a spirited, and sometimes ugly campaign. Both men are Jewish running in the heavily Jewish district and religion has emerged as a theme.

Fidler, 55, said Storobin had “ties” to neo-Nazi groups, a charge that Storobin forcefully denied, noting that family members died in the Holocaust. Fidler later said he meant to use the word “links” to refer to articles the 32-year-old Storobin wrote for a conservative website that were then linked to skinhead and white supremacist websites.

The district has nearly 90,000 registered Democrats compared to about 27,000 registered Republicans. But it’s also conservative, has a large Russian population and helped elect a Republican to congress in a special election last November.

In that congressional race, Bob Turner beat Mark Weprin for the seat vacated by disgraced U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner, who resigned during a sexting scandal. Part of the victory was attributed to dissatisfaction among Jews with Democratic President Barack Obama's positions on Israel.

March 21, 2012 - 12:43pm


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