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Sheepshead Bay smackdown! Cymbrowitz faces two challengers!

Ben Akselrod refused to concede the election, claiming the vote was too close to call.
Photo by Steve Solomonson

Its a three-way fight to represent Sheepshead Bay in Albany! Voters will be choosing between incumbent Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz, Republican Russell Gallo and Democrat-turned-Independent Ben Akselrod.

Steven Cymbrowitz vs. Ben Akselrod vs. Russell Gallo

Gallo and Akselrod are pulling out all the stops to stop Cymbrowitz from getting a sixth term, but the incumbent refuses to bite back.

Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz

• Democrat. Won the assembly seat in 2000 following the death of his wife, Assemblywoman Lena Cymbrowitz.

• Chair of the Environmental Conservation Committee’s Shoreline Protection Subcommittee.

• Age 58, married.

Ben Akselrod

• Lost to Cymbrowitz during the Democratic primary. Now running as an independent.

• Former Community Board 15 District Manager. Currently a manager at a nursing home.

• Age 39, married.

Russell Gallo is calling Cymbrowitz a debate dodger.
Photo by Steve Solomonson

Russell Gallo

• Republican. Spent 16 years in the U.S. armed services that included a tour in Iraq where he provided security during the country’s first free election. Spent the last five years of active duty serving in the National Guard’s counter-drug task force.

• Lost a 2005 race against Councilman Dominic Recchia, where he earned 31 percent of the vote.

• Age 34, single.

The campaign

• Gallo accused Cymbrowitz of being a debate dodger after the incumbent decided not to attend a candidate night sponsored by the Manhattan Beach Community Group.

• Akselrod called out Cymbrowitz for not taking a side on the controversial Voorhies Avenue mosque, even though the house of worship is not in the legislator’s district.

• Cymbrowitz prides himself as “The only secular Jew in New York City who votes in favor of yeshivas and against immorality” — the “immorality” being gay marriage, which the legislator opposed when the Assembly voted on the issue in 2011.

Reach reporter Colin MIxson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4514.

Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz is looking for his sixth term in Albany.
Photo by Steve Solomonson

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