Councilman and state senate hopeful Lew Fidler is finally out of the hospital — and the two weeks he spent being treated for an allergic reaction that wrecked havoc on his kidneys hasn’t hurt his chances of winning disgraced state Sen. Carl Kruger’s seat, he claims.
“It’s 1,000 percent full steam ahead,” Fidler (D-Marine Park) told BrooklynDaily.com less than two hours after he was discharged from Beth Israel Medical Center on Kings Highway. “I expect to beat the pants off of [my GOP challenger David] Storobin. This was a temporary setback, but I’m back in the saddle.”
Fidler says he was feeling under the weather for about a week before he had a Hatzolah ambulance take him to the hospital, where doctors learned that he had a severe allergic reaction to his gout medication.
Fidler’s staff wouldn’t divulge anything else. That, coupled with the length of his hospital stay, led some to wonder if he was seriously ill.
But Fidler, who spent his first day out of the hospital dealing with constituents fighting city liens, claims his condition wasn’t as dire as some thought.
“It’s understandable that people were worried, but those who came to visit me knew that I was going to be walking out of the hospital. Once people see me back on the job, they’ll understand that I’m going to be fine.”
But his state senate campaign could be in critical condition: Fidler’s extended hospital stay forced him to cancel two debates with Storobin, an attorney and vice president of the Kings County Republican Party, as well as several public appearances.
As Fidler sat in the hospital, Storobin secured the support of a number of Orthodox leaders — garnering the same support that helped Republican newcomer Bob Turner beat Democratic Assemblyman David Weprin (D–Queens) in a special election in 2010 to replace former Democrat Rep. Anthony Weiner, who resigned in a cyber-sexting scandal.
“We’re in great shape heading into the last two weeks,” Storobin told us earlier this week. “I feel very confident.”
Political analysts said that Fidler’s hospital stay may have given Storobin the edge he needed to win the special election to replace Kruger, who stepped down after pleading guilty to pocketing $1 million in bribes.
“Fidler’s illness didn’t choose the best time to attack him,” said political analyst Hank Sheinkopf. “The more you get out there campaigning [the better it is] and he can’t campaign right now.”
But Fidler says his hospital stay was pretty productive: he spent most of his time on the phone and online and was in constant contact with supporters and campaign staffers.
“There were fewer subway stops and less baby kissing, but the people in this district know who I am and what I’ve done and they’re going to judge me on that,” Fidler said.
Reach Deputy Editor Thomas Tracy at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (718) 260-2525.