Igor Oberman may have lost the Democratic nod in the race to replace Councilman Michael Nelson of the 48th District, but he will continue on to the general election on the Working Families Party line.
Oberman came in fourth place in the Democratic primary, snatching up 1,307 votes, or 14.37 percent. The morning after his defeat, the campaign sent out a statement conceding victory that left it unclear whether Oberman would continue on with the third-party line.
The statement read:
“I want to thank the members of my community whose support was instrumental in keeping my campaign alive throughout this difficult Primary,” Igor Oberman, 48th District City Council Candidate said. “Without the help of my dedicated staff, hardworking volunteers, and organizations who endorsed me, getting this far would not have been possible. I am proud to have contributed to a vibrant discussion of the needs of the communities of Southern Brooklyn. While it is disappointing that I won’t be able to represent the 48th District as a Councilmember, I look forward to continuing my efforts to strengthen affordable housing, rebuild the neighborhoods devastated by Sandy, and ensuring equal opportunities for the people of my community. I am grateful and humbled by those who sacrificed their time to get behind my campaign, and I won’t let them down regardless of what capacity I hold in the future.”
The statement was nearly identical to others sent out by candidates who had failed to win the primary in other districts and were represented by the same consulting agency, Advance Group. Because it was a boilerplate statement, Sheepshead Bites sought confirmation on whether or not Oberman would follow up on the Working Families Party line, or bow out altogether.
His campaign confirmed yesterday evening that it would continue to move forward.
His candidacy could prove harmful to Republican David Storobin, and a boon to Democrat Chaim Deutsch. Having garnered only 14 percent of the Democratic vote, Oberman is unlikely to emerge victorious in November. However, his presence could help level the playing field in a race that pits a Russian-American against a non-Russian Orthodox Jew in a so-called Super Russian district, where Russians are the largest single voting bloc. Although nationality is hardly the end-all-be-all of voting in the area, identity politics in the Russian community has proven to be strong, helping account for Storobin’s victory over Lew Fidler in a 2012 special election for the State Senate.