Councilman Lew Fidler finally admitted defeat as GOP rookie David Storobin beat him by 16 votes in the political grudge match to replace prison-bound ex-pol Carl Kruger on Thursday — bringing the roller coaster special election to a close.
Fidler (D–Marine Park) conceded in an email to supporters, which was sent out just moments before Storobin announced his victory.
“I am disappointed in the overall result. I guess I am simply not destined to be the ‘Mayor of Mooseport’,” Fidler wrote, referring to a Gene Hackman comedy about a wacky election in Maine where — as in the March 20 special election — the results were too close to call.
Now that the final recount has concluded, Storobin said the city is scheduled to certify the results on Tuesday.
“It’s a relief,” Storobin told Brooklyn Daily. “I look forward to doing my best to help the district.”
Storobin emerged with a 120-vote lead on election night, but his lead shrank to just three votes after several hundred absentee ballots and affidavits were counted.
Both sides contested 300 absentee ballots in court, and Fidler took a brief 87-vote lead after most of them were tallied.
But Storobin jumped ahead again by 27 votes after a judge ordered the city to count 119 votes Fidler said Storobin obtained illegally, and emerged with a final 16-vote lead after the city completed a court-mandated hand recount.
In his concession statement, Fidler said that he didn’t want to drag the race out any further.
“Appealing the court’s decision would only extend an already too long saga at unnecessary cost to the taxpayers,” Fidler said.
But the Soviet-born attorney will only have three weeks in Albany before the senate’s legislative session ends. Kruger’s old stomping grounds will be eliminated at the end of the year.
The state approved new political maps that divvied up Kruger’s district between two borough senators and a new “Super Jewish” district that encompasses Midwood, Borough Park, and Homecrest — a seat political sources say both Fidler and Storobin are eyeing.
Fidler hinted to supporters that he doesn’t want to retire from politics when he’s term-limited out of office next year.
“I have spent my life in public service and have no intention of stopping now,” Fidler said.
Storobin also said that he won’t keep his future plans secret for long.
“I’ll make an announcement in the next few days,” he said.
The race started when Kruger resigned before pleading guilty to accepting $1 million from lobbyists. The disgraced former state senator was sentenced to seven years in prison last month.