Half a week in, and the race to replace former State Senator Carl Kruger is already getting dirty.
Since the campaigns officially kicked off on Monday, City Councilman Lew Fidler and Republican opponent David Storobin have been trading barbs. Storobin is lambasting Fidler for being a Democratic insider whose interests align more with the Manhattan elite.
“I understand that Lew Fidler’s radical progressive base lives far outside our district, and that he finds it impossible to get local support, but it is time to start campaigning in southern Brooklyn,” Storobin said in a release. Aside from Fidler launching his campaign on the steps of City Hall – you know, the one in Manhattan – Storobin’s campaign pointed out that the Democratic councilman is also holding a fundraiser in the inner-borough this evening.
Fidler is giving at least as good as he’s getting, though. At a meeting of the Brooklyn Young Democrats at Wheeler’s (1707 Sheepshead Bay Road) last night, Fidler gave a pep rally-style speech in which he slammed his opponent for his lack of accomplishments in the district, and possible ties to white supremacists.
“The Republicans in the State Senate are going to drop a half a million dollars behind some guy who I laid eyes on for the first time tonight – first time, I go to a lot of meetings and [this was the] first time I ever saw David Storobin – a guy who can’t even fess up to what he writes on his web pages anymore and is busy scrubbing what little history he has because he’s embarrassed about his ties to skinheads and neo-Nazi groups and white supremacist groups because the Republicans had no idea who they were putting on the ballot,” Fidler told the Young Democrats.
Fidler was referring to recent revelations that, while editor-in-chief of an online publication called Global Politician, Storobin wrote numerous pieces (such as one uncritical post on the Afrikaner Independence Movement, which advocates for an autonomous state in South Africa to advance white Afrikaner interests) that were linked on white supremacist hate sites. Global Politician has since removed Storobin’s articles, and the candidate has yet to comment on the issue.
But, according to Fidler, this race is bigger than the two candidates. It’s a race to disprove the increasingly dominant narrative that Southern Brooklyn is beginning to slide Republican – the oft-mentioned explanation for Republican Bob Turner’s Congressional win in last year’s special election to replace Anthony Weiner.
“What’s coming on March 20 is a lot more important than me,” Fidler said. “If I lose this race, [the Republicans are] coming for Steve Cymbrowitz, Helene Weinstein, Bill Colton and Alec Brook-Krasny and every single one of us here in Southern Brooklyn.
“This election is going to make a big difference. This is where we draw the line in the sand. This is where we break up the firewall,” he added. “They are not going to turn Brooklyn red.”
Earlier in the night, David Storobin attended the Manhattan Beach Community Group meeting – the same meeting Fidler refers to above – where he delivered the following statement about his background.