Archive for the tag 'democratic primary'


Flatbush Shomrim founder Chaim Deutsch eked out a narrow, last-minute victory in his effort to replace his boss, Michael Nelson, as the City Council representative for the 48th District.

It was a tense night, showing a neck-in-neck race with rival Ari Kagan, a Russian-American journalist and activist also seeking the nod in the Democratic primary. From the moment the first voting precinct began reporting shortly after 9 p.m., until more than 85 percent of the votes were tallied, Kagan appeared to be in the lead. But as the final 15 percent of votes were counted, Deutsch pulled off a narrow victory, edging out the other top contender by just 300 votes.

Candidate # of votes % of total votes
Chaim Deutsch 3,081 33.86
Ari Kagan 2,785  30.61
Theresa Scavo 1,666 18.31
Igor Oberman 1,307 14.37
Natraj Bhushan 259 2.85

“This election is and has always been about the people. I ran to serve because serving the public is all I ever wanted to do. I hear the cry of help from the elderly. I feel the pain of parents who cannot make ends meet. And I understand the serious challenges facing every community in this district,” Deutsch said in his victory speech outside of his Avenue U campaign headquarters. “I pledge to be the leader who brings all of our communities together to make life better for all.”

Deutsch stood ringed by a multi-cultural group of supporters, hailing largely from the Orthodox Jewish community, as well as from the Asian and Muslim communities. He touted his ability to bring together a diverse coalition to overcome the demographic challenges that arose from redistricting, which turned the 48th Councilmanic District into a “Super-Russian District.”

“It is beautiful to see how many diverse neighborhoods came together to support me and my candidacy and this community and bring us to victory tonight,” he said.

Nelson, who celebrated with the candidate, boasted of Deutsch’s qualifications, character and accomplishments.

“Sometimes the nice guy wins, and this is an example of where it actually can happen,” Nelson said. “He’s been doing my job, so to speak, for a long time. He’s the go to guy when people have problems.”

But victory is not yet certain. Although Deutsch snagged 33.86 percent of the vote, Kagan is a close second, with 30.61 percent. The difference is not enough to trigger a manual recount as seen in the State Senate race between David Storobin and Lew Fidler, but the Kagan campaign said they’re not yet calling it quits.

“Right now it’s a close race. We’re going to wait for all the ballots to be counted,” said Kagan spokesperson Jake Oliver.

With scores of absentee ballots uncounted and reports of malfunctioning voting machines, the Kagan campaign could theoretically rally the 297 votes required to surpass Deutsch.

That fact didn’t seem to instill doubt on Nelson. On hearing the poll numbers come in, Nelson called on Republican David Storobin to pull out of the elections before November.

“Dave is a nice guy. But I think, for the sake of the community, he should concede,” Nelson told Sheepshead Bites. “David, you could be a really good guy, but the community would lose with you.”

Deutsch had his own words for his general election rival.

“You see all the people here?” he said, gesturing to the crowd. “That’s the message for David Storobin.”

But Storobin may not be the only opponent Deutsch has come November. Igor Oberman, who came in fourth with 14.37 percent of the vote, is also on the Working Families Party line. A concession statement from the campaign suggested that he may not seek the seat in the general election, but the campaign has not confirmed that as of this writing.

Following the results, Community Board 15 Chairperson Theresa Scavo, who secured 18.31 percent of the vote, offered up a humbled thank you to her supporters via Twitter.


Actually, I suppose it’s all quiet at all polls for now. We’ve stopped by about six today, and few reported more than 70 voters per electoral district. But that’ll be heating up as the evening draws near, and people head to the booths after work.

Meanwhile, our woman in the field, Brooklyn Independent Television’s Natasha Gaspard, found a rare breed in the Orthodox section of Midwood: a liberal voter.

Debra Burke was one of the few who have so far hit the 1215 Avenue O voting site, and remarked about how she’s a bit of an odd duck for the area.

“I’m actually am on the other side of the issues because I happen to be liberal. This is a very conservative neighborhood and I happen to be liberal,” she said. “I believe in public schools and equal civil rights.”

Burke didn’t say who she voted for, but did say she had been turned off a bit by the pamphleteering in the past few weeks.

“I’ve been so annoyed by all of the phone calls and pamphlets. Right now, I don’t really like any of them,” she said.

Polls are open until 9:00 p.m. tonight. You can find your polling site here.

This post is published in partnership with B Civil, Brooklyn Independent Television’s online political portal. BIT producer Natasha Gaspard will be sending on-the-ground updates to us throughout the day from various polling sites in an effort to keep readers informed of polling conditions, and remind them to vote.


Tzipporah Simon being interviewed about her vote by BIT.

The following post is published in partnership with B Civil, Brooklyn Independent Television’s online political portal.

Polls opened at 6:00 a.m. today, and the first round of voters have already pulled the lever at their local voting site.

Poll workers at the St. Mark School poll site (2602 East 19th Street) told Sheepshead Bites that it’s been a quiet morning with few problems – and few voters. As of 10:15 a.m., turnout was beginning to increase.

Tzipporah Simon of Sheepshead Bay was one of the first to pull the lever there this morning.

“I voted for Theresa Scavo. I think that when she was a Community Board leader, she was passionate and remained passionate,” Simon said.

The choice was more difficult in the mayoral elections, Simon said.

“For Mayor, I was kind of undecided. I made a begrudging choice. Mayor is a tough call this year,” she said.

In contrast to the calm scene at St. Mark School, a reader tells us the I.S. 381 (1599 East 22nd Street) polling site in Midwood is chaotic.

“I was sent to the wrong table, there was poll worker confusion,” our reader said. “No superviser was sent to train the workers.”

He said when he finally tried to vote his machine was broken, which spurred an argument with poll workers. Police pulled him aside to calm him down, and moments later a poll worker came over to ask when his break would be.

Please e-mail tips [at] sheepsheadbites [dot] com as you vote and tell us about the conditions at your voting site.

Polls are open until 9:00 p.m. tonight. You can find your polling site here.

This post is published in partnership with B CivilBrooklyn Independent Television’s online political portal. BIT producer Natasha Gaspard will be sending on-the-ground updates to Sheepshead Bites throughout the day from various polling sites in an effort to keep readers informed of polling conditions, and remind them to vote.

Well, I just got back from casting my vote in today’s primary election, and, as of 9:15 a.m., only five other people had voted at my polling station.

Let’s pick it up, Sheepshead Bay! Let’s prove to New York City and New York State that our area has a voice and we will use it!

For many in our coverage area, the only races going on are the primary battles between sitting Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz and his upstart opponent Ben Akselrod, as well as the race for male district leader, between incumbent Mike Geller and challenger Ari Kagan.

Polls will be open to 9:00 p.m.

To find out if you’re eligible to vote, where your polling station is, and what races are in your district, use New York City’s Poll Site Locator & Sample Ballot Display tool.


Charles Barron


BETWEEN THE LINES: Some voters could care less — and others may be unaware — that there’s a primary election tomorrow for the seat being vacated by retiring 15-term Congressman Edolphus “Ed” Towns.

(Check out our guide to the congressional primaries, with info on all the local districts, the incumbents, and the candidates for both the primaries and the general elections.)

To begin with, the end of June is more suited for end of public school year activities, graduations and the start of summer vacations than an election.

Nevertheless, this primary, which is expected to produce an inconsequential voter turnout, has pundits and politicians anxiously awaiting the outcome, mostly because of the two candidates running for the Democratic nomination in the newly-created 8th Congressional District that cuts a swath across Brooklyn from Fort Greene and Bed-Stuy to East New York and Canarsie, and from Mill Basin and Bergen Beach to Brighton Beach and Coney Island. It even stretches east into Howard Beach and Ozone Park in Queens.

State Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries and City Councilman Charles Barron are facing off to succeed Towns. It would, without a doubt, be a huge mistake, if Barron was the victor.

Continue Reading »

Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries, running to replace Congressman Ed Towns as the representative for the newly redrawn 8th Congressional District, visited the Manhattan Beach Community Group last week to introduce himself and discuss his stance on the issues expected to play a key role in this year’s election.

Jeffries talked about Israel, the economy and restoring trust in government, while also touting his background in both the public and private sectors. He also worked in mention of a handful of local issues, including waterfront issues, transportation and safety.

“One of the things that I’ve found all across this congressional district is that there are a lot of things that unite folks,” Jeffries told the crowd about the newly redrawn district, which will span across neighborhoods from Downtown Brooklyn to Crown Heights, to East New York to Mill Basin, to Manhattan Beach and Brighton Beach. “It’s a wonderfully diverse district, but … people want good schools, people want safe streets, people want a strong economy for all. Those are the issues that I really hope to work on if I had the privilege of representing you down in Washington.”

The race kicked off after current Congressman Ed Towns announced that he will not seek reelection this year. Vying for the Democratic ticket are City Councilman Charles Barron, a controversial figure with a strong following in his East New York, Brownsville, East Flatbush, and Canarsie base, and Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries, who has won the endorsement of many of our local elected, who represents Fort Greene, Clinton Hill and Crown Heights in the Assembly. The primary is set for June 26.

Read on for the highlights from the video above.

Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz will face off against Ben Akselrod, a Russian-speaking Orthodox Jew, in a Democratic primary that may unseat the 12-year veteran of the Assembly.

Rumors first surfaced of a potential Akselrod campaign in mid-April on Politicker, and last Friday he registered a campaign committee. He will officially announce his campaign this weekend at Baku Palace, just a stone’s throw from the assemblymember’s district office.

According to Politicker, an Akselrod candidacy in the general election could possibly stymie growing Southern Brooklyn support for Republicans, particularly among Russian and Orthodox voters who turned out to deliver wins to Bob Turner and David Storobin in what was believed to be heavily Democratic areas (True, Storobin’s win is not yet official; however, regardless of whether he obtains the seat or not, the upset from a political unknown is widely regarded as a GOP victory).

In 2010, Cymbrowitz obtained only 57 percent of the vote when he was challenged in the general election by Joseph Hayon, a relatively unknown Orthodox Jew who campaigned on a platform of ultra-conservative social issues - a prequel to the increasing political muscle of the conservative Orthodox community, which more recently revealed itself as a devastating obstacle to Democratic incumbency.

Similarly, whoever wins the Democratic primary for the 45th District will likely have a Republican opponent in the general election, as the GOP sets its eyes on future gains across Southern Brooklyn. And with Kruger’s seat vanishing and a new “Super Jewish” district being created (for which Simcha Felder has announced intentions), some observers suggest David Storobin may make a go for the seat.

Correction (5/7/2012): The original version of this article mistakenly stated that Cymbrowitz faces Joseph Hayon in 2008. It was actually 2010, and the post has been updated to reflect that.