A final count of votes in a race for state Senate in Brooklyn that began on March 20th put Republican David Storobin ahead of Democrat Lewis Fidler. The margin of victory appears to be only 16 votes, but the city's Board of Elections must still certify the results when it meets on Tuesday.
Storobin, who would be the second Russian-born immigrant to serve in the state legislature, will now complete the term of former Senator Carl Kruger, who resigned after being convicted of corruption charges last year. Storobin will have to seek re-election in the fall in a newly created district on a vastly changed Senate map.
In a statement, Fidler congratulated the senator-elect, saying "In whatever time he may spend as the Senator from the 27th district, I pledge to work with him for the benefit of our community whenever and wherever we can find common ground."
The two candidates, both Jewish, were locked in a bitter campaign from the start that got worse when the election results came in at 10,756 for Storobin and 10,636 for Fidler, triggering a recount that soon involved court challenges and accusations of voter fraud. Fidler argued unsuccessfully that a Storobin campaign worker tainted the results by collecting absentee ballots from people who also voted in person.
In an interview with The Daily News Thursday night, Storobin said "I know not a lot of time is left in this session, but i'd like to actually get my hands dirty and roll up the sleeves and get things done."
In a statement, Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, a Republican from Long Island, said: "By electing David Storobin, hardworking Brooklyn families have voted to send a Jewish immigrant who fled the former Soviet Union, and came to Brooklyn in search of a better life, to fight for them in Albany. I expect David to be a strong voice on their behalf and our partner in controlling spending, reducing taxes and helping businesses create new jobs."
Another Russian immigrant, Alec Brook Krasny, was elected to the Assembly in 2006.