Proclaimed “Kingmaker” of the Russian-American community Gregory Davidzon has announced a write-in campaign for the 48th District of the City Council, a seat currently occupied by term-limited Michael Nelson, and for which three prominent candidates are already vying.
Davidzon announced his campaign during an hour-long segment on his radio station, Davidzon Radio, yesterday, touting his experience as a “successful businessman and community leader.” He hopes to beat out two other Russian-American candidates, Republican David Storobin and Working Families’ Igor Oberman, and Democrat Chaim Deutsch, an Orthodox Jew.
Support for the candidates in the race has largely been split along ethnic lines.
“I realize that this is an unusual undertaking, however, I was encouraged by many members of the community − ordinary residents and political leaders − to run. While I do have the backing of elected officials from both political parties, I made it clear to them that I always have been and will remain independent; focused fully on what is best for the community and the people,” Davidzon said in a press release.
Davidzon is not a member of any political party, and is not registered to vote.
The owner of a Russian-language radio station and newspaper, Davidzon said the issues he hopes to promote include public safety and quality education, saying he supports “school choice.” In his press release, he spoke out against taxes, as well as fines, fees and other charges the city has been using to drum up revenues.
The write-in candidate is no lark: he’s already garnered the support of District Leader Ari Kagan, who lost the Democratic bid in the race to Deutsch. Kagan is also an employee of Davidzon’s. Other surprise endorsements include that of Assemblymember Alec Brook-Krasny, and various Democratic and Republic district leaders from around the area.
His Democratic Party-backed opponent, Deutsch, shied away from commenting on the development.
“We’re not interested in talking about our opponents,” a spokesperson for Deutch told YWN. “What we’re interested in is talking to the residents of southern Brooklyn and listening to their concerns about the critical quality of life issues the district faces and how to best address them.”
Storobin, meanwhile, was more forthright, predicting that Davidzon is unlikely to garner more than 100 votes in the race.
“I will make a bet with anyone that he will not break 100 votes,” Storobin told Politicker. “Davidzon has almost the highest negatives of any person in the Russian community, by far the highest negatives.”
Of course, there’s little love lost between Davidzon and Storobin. Davidzon backed Storobin’s opponent, Lew Fidler, in his State Senate race last year, and spilled much Russian-language vitriol on-air about the Republican candidate, spurring an FCC complaint from the candidate.
That’s why some observers believe it’s an attempt to undermine Storobin by dividing the Russian-American community, the largest voting bloc in the district, even further.
“This proves there’s still major bad blood between Storobin and Gregory,” a Brooklyn Democratic source told Politicker. “It’s nothing more than Gregory doing what he can to prevent Storobin from winning.”