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State Sen. David Storobin loses super Jewish district, but doesn’t count out another run for office

Storobin’s district to disappear in less than two months

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State Sen. David Storobin is out of a job, but the young political upstart who spent four months in office and 11 days in Albany says he would do it all over again — if not for himself, then for the everyday Brooklynites who impressed the Republican on the campaign trail.

“I gained a lot of respect for the regular person,” said the attorney-turned-legislator, whose political career will end on Dec. 31 now that he’s lost his fight for Midwood’s so-named “super Jewish” district. “People have been very nice and they are great by and large. I hope at some point the thousands of doors that I knocked on will be useful.”

At 32, Storobin says he plans to take a break from politics, but wouldn’t rule out another run in the future.

“I’m looking forward to getting eight hours of sleep and being able to see my friends,” Storobin said. “But life does not end at this age.”

Storobin won disgraced former state Sen. Carl Kruger’s seat in the spring after a hotly contested battle against Councilman Lew Fidler, but his victory was short lived: Albany leaders decided to dissolve the district to increase the size of state Sen. Marty Golden (R–Bay Ridge) and state Sen. John Sampson’s (D–Canarsie) districts.

With no district to represent, Storobin opted to run for the new district, which includes the heavily Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods of Borough Park, Midwood, and Homcrest. He ultimately lost to former Councilman Simcha Felder, who received more than 65 percent of the vote last Tuesday.

Storobin said he faced significant disadvantages in the race, such as the fact that there are more Democrats than Republicans in the district. Felder also out-raised the young attorney — taking in $500,000 to Storobin’s $81,000.

Storobin was also accused of using his time in Albany to back Orthodox Jewish causes in order to gain favor with his new constituency — including putting in legislation to repeal same-sex marriage in New York — but the legislator argued that he wouldn’t have done anything differently

“Sometimes you have to do the right thing whether it helps or harms you,” said Storobin. “I made this promise so I had to stick by it.”

Storobin said he had yet to call Felder to congratulate him on his victory. The campaign was quite contentious, with Storobin accusing Felder’s camp of spreading false rumors about him and passing out a flyer in Yiddish that referred to him as a “son without a name.”

Still, Storobin had a few words of support for the man who beat him at the polls.

“I wish him well, but I hope he’ll actually be the conservative that he claims to be,” said Storobin.

Reach reporter Eli Rosenberg at erosenberg@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-2531. And follow him at twitter.com/emrosenberg.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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