BROOKLYN — A special election will take place tomorrow to choose a state senator to replace disgraced state Sen. Carl Kruger, who resigned last year when he pleaded guilty to federal bribery charges.
The election in the 27th Senate District, which encompasses much of southern and southeast Brooklyn, pits Councilman Lew Fidler (D-Canarsie/Flatlands), a lifelong area resident whose parents were well-known community activists, against Republican David Storobin, a Russian-American lawyer who is active in Jewish affairs.
Because the area is home to one of the largest concentrations of Orthodox and Hasidic Jews in the city, issues affecting these groups have become important in the race. Each candidate has been endorsed by several religious leaders.
Storobin has pressured Fidler to support school vouchers for religious school students, a position rarely supported by liberal Democrats such as Fidler. However, Fidler has put out his own “five-point plan to help yeshiva parents,” which includes tuition tax credits, vouchers for students’ transportation and forcing the state to pay money it owes to private schools for mandated services.
Among the Orthodox community, Fidler’s support for gay-rights measures has also cost him some, although not all, support. Regardless, Fidler has won some important endorsements, such as that of Local 32 BJ, the powerful building workers’ union. In its endorsement, the union said it would mobilize its more than 1,500 members in southern Brooklyn to help Fidler.
— Raanan Geberer
Brooklyn Daily Eagle