Fidler: I’ll stop the GOP’s red wave in Southern Brooklyn

Councilman Lew Fidler (D–Marine Park) may be fighting for a senate district that won't exist in 11 months.
Community Newspaper Group / Aaron Short

Councilman Lew Fidler says he sees the red wave about to crash down upon southern Brooklyn — and is lashing himself to other Democrats to weather the upcoming storm.

The Marine Park Democrat, battling Republican attorney David Storobin for disgraced Carl Kruger’s vacant state Senate seat, accused deep-pocketed GOP leaders of encroaching in other typically blue districts that stretch from Canarsie to Brighton Beach.

“This is where we draw the line in the sand,” a fired-up Fidler told two-dozen members of the Brooklyn Young Democrats at a Jan. 18 gathering the group hosted at Wheeler’s Restaurant in Sheepshead Bay. “If I lose this race they’re coming for [every Democrat].”

Fidler said a GOP takeover would redraw the political map — dooming future Democrats’ chances for decades to come.

“They [want] to change politics for the rest of your adult lives here in Southern Brooklyn,” Fidler said.

Fidler spokesman Kalman Yeger said the veteran lawmaker plans to “run a campaign that speaks to the voters in the district,” but declined to discuss specifics on their plans for beating Storobin.

Fidler’s tough talk followed comments by state Sen. Marty Golden (R–Bay Ridge) that Senate Republicans planned to spend up to $500,000 to help Storobin trounce Fidler in the March 20 special election.

Southern Brooklyn was long considered a Democratic stronghold until Rep. Bob Turner (R–Sheepshead Bay) beat Assemblyman David Weprin (D–Queens) to replace former democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner, who resigned after a cybersex scandal last year.

Nearly 66 percent of voters in Kruger’s former district backed Turner, giving borough Republicans hope that they could expand their influence from Bay Ridge, where leaders include Golden, Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R–Bay Ridge), and Rep. Michael Grimm (R–Bay Ridge) who beat Democratic incumbent Michael McMahon in 2010, to southern Brooklyn.

Storobin, also the vice president of the Kings County Republican Committee, launched his candidacy within weeks of Kruger resigning after confessing to taking $1 million in bribes while in office. The rookie candidate also blasted Fidler for launching his campaign on the steps of City Hall instead of inside the district, which spans from Brighton Beach to Mill Basin.

“He’s ignored the needs of the people of southern Brooklyn as a councilman, and now he’s ignoring us as a senate candidate,” Storobin said. “Our community deserves better.”

But Fidler’s supporters vowed to keep Storobin out of office.

“We can’t let Republicans take Southern Brooklyn,” said Sheepshead Bay native and Brooklyn Young Democrats president Amanda Pizzuti. “I hope we can keep the senate district blue.”

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