Mayoral hopeful Joe Lhota and former State Senator David Storobin teamed together to represent the Republican Party as candidates for New York City Mayor and City Council Representative, respectively, during a Sunday rally drawing Republican voters from across Southern Brooklyn.
Lhota and Storobin met a team of approximately 30 supporters during the steamy Sunday afternoon rally on the Brighton Beach Boardwalk, off Brighton 5th Street, to rally support for their campaigns from the local community. It was the first campaign event for Storobin, who many have assumed would seek the Republican line for the 48th District of the City Council, currently represented by term-limited Councilman Michael Nelson.
Lhota, a former New York City Deputy Mayor under Rudolph Giuliani, and Storobin, a former New York State Senator who was in office for just 11 days of the legislation session after replacing Carl Kruger, both expressed concern about the Southern Brooklyn areas (including Brighton Beach, Seagate, Gravesend, Mill Basin and Sheepshead Bay) noting that they are too often forgotten by politicians.
“People will tell you, ‘Brooklyn is just Brooklyn Heights.’ We are the real Brooklyn and we also matter,” Storobin said. “[Lhota mayorality] is going to be the third term of Rudy Giuliani, maybe even better…this is the progress that we need.”
Together, Lhota and Storobin have a reform agenda focused on promoting local business growth, lowering crime rate, and bettering the school systems. Lhota has already come out in strong support of increasing charter schools, while Storobin based much of his Senate campaign on proposals to direct taxpayer funds to religious and private schools through vouchers and reimbursements.
“I grew up in the Bronx and was always amazed by Little Odessa. It’s such a vibrant, exciting community. But we can do better. I want more community involvement, a greater quality of life for our locals,” Lhota said.
Brighton neighbors, familiar with Storobin, began to cheer on Lhota, too.
“People here know his [Storobin’s] name. They love him. Character means everything. He does what he says he’s going to do. Storobin lives by his word,” Nanci Roden, a longtime Storobin supporter, said.
Leon Ofman, a registered Democrat, said that he could agree, on some points, with the politicians.
“I like that [Storobin] is pushing to diversify recovery money from FEMA,” Ofman said. “There’s been a lot of fiscal corruption after Sandy. I want to see if the two of them can fight it.”
Storobin does not yet have any primary challengers, and has also been endorsed by he Conservative and Independence parties. Community Board 15 Chairperson Theresa Scavo, 45th Assembly District Leader Ari Kagan, Nelson-aide Chaim Deutsch and attorney Igor Oberan, in addition to others, are all seeking the Democratic line.
Photos and video by Elle Spektor.