Archive for the tag 'primaries'

Akselrod (l) and Cymbrowitz (r)

Akselrod (l) and Cymbrowitz (r)

The race for the 45th District of the State Assembly lives on!

Ben Akselrod, a Democrat, has scored the Republican nomination for the 45th Assembly race, allowing him to continue his challenge against incumbent Steven Cymbrowitz until election day on November 4.

Akselrod, president of the Bay Democrats political club, received the most write-in votes – 46 in all – during the Republican primary, allowing him to steal the GOP line for the general election.

There were no candidates backed by the party in the primary, which would normally mean there is no primary and thus no general election candidate. But Republican voters, which sources say were organized by the Akselrod campaign, filed petitions requesting an “opportunity to ballot,” forcing the party to hold a primary to gather write-in votes. The results of the write-ins became public last week.

Steven Cymbrowitz received the second highest amount of write-in votes with 27. There were 11 more write-ins who received one vote each, and Russian media mogul Gregory Davidzon snagged two write-in votes. Another 31 write-ins were illegible.

That allows Akselrod to move forward to the general election, but it’s still not clear if he’s going to actively campaign for the seat. Akselrod has not returned a request for comment.

The latest campaign filing for Akselrod shows he only has $3,986.22 on hand. Cymbrowitz, meanwhile, has $36,650.18.

Ozzie Heymann, Akselrod’s campaign manager during the primary, said he wasn’t sure of the candidate’s plans and if he’ll be involved in the general election campaign.

“I don’t know that there would be a campaign. If there would be, I assume that I would be involved. But that hasn’t been decided yet,” Heymann said.

Another close Akselrod supporter, Democratic District Leader Ari Kagan, said Akselrod is unlikely to have a decision before October 15, when the Jewish holidays end. That would leave less than a month to campaign.

The development itself also puts Kagan in an awkward position. In 2012, Kagan unseated longtime district leader Michael Geller, largely on the criticism that Geller had a record of supporting Republican candidates. Now his good friend, political ally, and the chosen president of his Democratic club is running on the GOP line.

Kagan, who is openly critical of Cymbrowitz, said he will stay on the sidelines if Akselrod decides to campaign.

“I’m the Democratic district leader, a strong democrat,” said Kagan. “If [Akselrod] runs as a Republican, there’s a 99 percent chance that I will not support the Republican nominee. But that doesn’t mean I will support the Democratic nominee. I never said anywhere I would just support anyone.”

Kagan also said that he and Akselrod previously discussed the possibility that Akselrod would win the Republican line, and it comes with a consequence.

“If he decides to run on the Republican line, he’ll resign from the Bay Democrats. That’s for sure,” he said.

Despite losing the primary election to Cymbrowitz in 2012, Akselrod was able to move onto the general election on the Independence Party line. That created a three-way race with Russ Gallo as a Republican. Gallo and Akselrod combined took home just shy of 45 percent of the vote, while Cymbrowitz took 55 percent of the vote. Akselrod alone had 19 percent of the vote.

Akselrod (l) and Cymbrowitz (r)

Akselrod (l) and Cymbrowitz (r)

Nobody beats the ‘witz, at least not in the 2014 primary elections.

Fourteen-year incumbent Steven Cymbrowitz won his party’s nod for reelection to the 45th Assembly District last night in one of the closest elections in the borough. But it was a solid victory for the local pol, who bested challenger Ben Akselrod by a margin nearly double that won during his 2012 matchup against the same candidate.

Cymbrowitz gave his victory speech just before 11pm last night, when his team had tallied up initial reports from approximately 70 percent of precincts.

“It was a terrific campaign. We more than doubled our victory from two years ago,” he said of the preliminary numbers that came in before all votes were counted. “I want to thank every part of my community … This was really very, very special.”

Preliminary results from the Board of Elections show Cymbrowitz with 2,137 votes, or 57.2 percent of the total, versus Ben Akselrod’s 1,599 votes, or 42.8 percent. In both percentage and actual votes, Cymbrowitz showed sizable gains over his opponent, who he beat by just eight points, or 294 votes in 2012. The margin this year was 538 votes, or 14 points.

Voters may not have seen the last of Ben Akselrod in this campaign season, however. The candidate filed an opportunity to ballot on the Republican line, a procedure that could have him in the general election if he organized enough write-in votes from Republican voters yesterday. The Board of Election will take several weeks to count, review and certify those ballots to make it official.

The win appeared to surprise some political observers, who believed Cymbrowitz’s strength had been diminished by the growing political influence of Russian and Jewish voters in the district that they believed would fall more heavily to Askelrod, who is both Russian and Orthodox Jewish.

It was a tough fought and, at times, nasty campaign, with allegations of voter harassment on the Sabbath, mysterious race-tinged fliers, and anonymous phone calls that attacked the incumbent’s wife for not being Jewish.

Cymbrowitz alluded to one of those negative attacks in his victory speech.

“I particularly want to thank [my wife] Vilma for not only being a great support, but keeping her cool when she had to when the attacks started coming,” he said.

Cymbrowitz will now move on to the general elections on November 4, where he’ll face off against Mikhail Usher, who is running on the Conservative Party line, and possibly Akselrod on the Republican line.

Gallo

Republican Russ Gallo is screaming “Shenanigans!” after the latest round of Board of Elections bungling handed the Independence Party ballot line over to Democrat Ben Akselrod, and turning the November election into a three-way race.

Akselrod lost his Democratic primary bid for Assemblyman Steve Cymbrowitz’s seat but, at first, appeared to pick up enough write-ins to win the Independence Party line. That honor was also sought by Gallo, who kicked off his own write-in campaign in the September 13 primary.

Initial counts showed Akselrod won by three votes out of just 39 Independence ballots cast. But Gallo said that at least 21 Independence Party members signed in to vote but were mistakenly given Democratic ballots, causing their votes to be invalidated. And many of those votes, Gallo said, would have gone to him.

Gallo took Akselrod and the Board of Elections to court over the matter, and, following an October 3 hearing, the court agrees: the Board of Elections botched the job. But the court also said it’s too late to do anything about it.

“The judge agreed that the Board of Elections screwed up, but refuses to make them fix the situation simply because they say they can’t,” Gallo said in an e-mailed statement. “We will never know who truly deserved to be the Independence candidate because we’ll never know who actually won the Election.”

Keep reading to find out what the court said, and see the documents.

While Ben Akselrod was narrowly defeated in his bid to unseat Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz at polls last Thursday, his ally and ticket-mate Ari Kagan emerged victorious in his campaign for district leader.

Kagan, a Russian-American reporter and activist, bested 24-year incumbent Mike Geller, head of the Highway Democratic Club, for the male district leader position in the 45th Assembly District. Kagan took home 1,818 – or 61.63 percent – of the paltry 2,950 votes cast, according to unofficial counts released by the Board of Elections. Geller received 686 votes less, for a total of 1,132, or 38.37 percent.

“I want to thank all my supporters and I promise to work hard on behalf of all neighborhoods and communities of our great and diverse 45 Assembly District,” Kagan wrote to Sheepshead Bites.

The district leader position, listed on the ballot as the Member of the State Democratic Committee, is an unpaid, nongovernmental representative. District leaders help pick the party’s chairman, appoint judges and hire poll workers. Though often under the radar for most voters, district leaders can play a pivotal role in local elections, helping organize grassroots efforts and sometimes directing the support – and campaign coffers – of the state or county party. Every assembly district has a male and female district leader.

The results of this election have not yet been certified by the Board of Elections. They are unofficial results from initial counts of ballots at the booths. This week, the board will add in numbers from ballot write-ins, absentee ballots and paper affidavits.

Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz eked out a primary victory yesterday, defeating Ben Akselrod by a narrow margin and moving ahead to a rare general election battle.

Cymbrowitz earned 244 votes more than his opponent, a margin of just seven percent of the 3,304 votes cast in the election. Cymbrowitz garnered 53.7 percent versus Akselrod’s 46.3 percent, according to results published by the New York Times.

Brooklyn Daily was at the Highway Democratic Club’s election night party, and here’s the scene they described:

Tensions were high at the High-Way Democratic Club’s results party on McDonald Avenue as Community Board 15 chairwoman Teresa Scavo called out the results as they trickled in.

Cymbrowitz appeared confident as he thanked friends and supporters, but left his own party before the vote was called, and refused to speculate on the outcome.

“I think we’re going to have to wait until all the votes are counted,” Cymbrowitz said, refusing to comment further.

Akselrod a former CB15 district manager, would not comment or concede, claiming that the vote was too close to call.

Cymbrowitz will now face off against Republican Russ Gallo in November’s general elections.

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.

 

Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries defeated Councilman Charles Barron in the Democratic primary for the 8th Congressional District last night, setting the stage for a general election battle against Republican businessman Alan Bellone and third party candidates in November.

Jeffries supporters outnumbered Barron supporters at the polls by a wide margin, with the victor racking up 25,712 (71.9 percent) votes to Barron’s 10,063 (28.1 percent), according to the New York Times. It was one of the most well-attended elections in New York State last night, with more than 35,000 voters turning out  - putting it neck-and-neck with the much more widely promoted primary for Charles Rangel’s seat.

Meanwhile, Congressman Bob Turner, who currently represents Sheepshead Bay, may be out of a job come January. His district is being eliminated, and last night he lost his bid for the Republican nomination to take on Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. Turner received 35.6 percent of the vote, losing out to Manhattan lawyer Wendy Long, who took 50.9 percent.

In the 9th Congressional District, Democratic incumbent Yvette Clarke won the party’s nomination to proceed to November’s election, handily defeating upstart Sylvia Kinard, who took in only 11.7 percent of the vote. Clarke will now face off against Republican candidate Daniel Cavanagh.

Charles Barron

Source: council.nyc.gov

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.

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On Tuesday, June 26, voters will hit the polls to vote in federal legislative primaries, choosing Democratic or Republican candidates for Senate (Republican only) and Congress. This year’s elections, however, are complicated by redistricting. Previously, most of Sheepshead Bites’ coverage area was part of the 9th Congressional District, currently represented by Bob Turner and, before him, Anthony Weiner. That district has now been eliminated and the area divided between three new district with incumbents many in the area may be unfamiliar with.

We’ve put together this pre-primary primer to help you understand the geographic and demographic changes within the district, as well as background information on incumbents, their primary challengers (if any), and challengers in November’s general elections.

Here’s a quick rundown on how to use this guide before Tuesday’s primary:

  1. Visit the New York City Board of Elections poll finder and enter your address. This will tell you what congressional district you’re in, where your poll site is, and provide sample ballots for the general election so you know who is running.
  2. Return back to this page.
  3. Use the following links to find the district profile we’ve put together, with bios and background on each of the candidates. Note that we’ve split up the district profiles between Sheepshead Bites and Bensonhurst Bean, and the links below will direct you to the appropriate site.

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Local elected officials representing Southern Brooklyn communities, joined by former Mayor Ed Koch, stood before the Museum of Jewish Heritage yesterday morning to denounce Brooklyn City Councilmember Charles Barron as an anti-Semite, and urged voters to ensure defeat for Barron’s attempt to become a congressman.

Barron is competing against Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries in a June 26 primary. The winner will be the Democratic candidate in the November election for the congressional seat currently occupied by Ed Towns, who is retiring.

Because of redistricting, the current 10th Congressional District will become the 8th District and move further south, covering neighborhoods including parts of Sheepshead Bay, Marine Park, Brighton Beach, Manhattan Beach, Mill Basin and Bergen Beach. With an area so densely populated by Jewish residents, Koch end the local elected are urging voters to show up on June 26 and stop a candidate they say has pushed an extreme anti-Semitic and anti-Israel agenda.

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