COMMON SENSE: Week of March 29

As of this writing it appears that Republican-Conservative David Storobin has been elected to the State Senate, besting Democratic Councilmember Lew Fidler. The district contains the communities of Brighton Beach, Manhattan Beach, Mill Island, Bergen Beach and parts of Mill Basin, Borough Park and Midwood.

Although about 800 or so paper ballots still need to be counted, Fidler would need to get near 60 percent to win. If that was not difficult enough of a hurdle for Fidler to overcome, many of the absentee ballots are from the Russian areas of the district which Storobin carried by better than 60 percent.

The last time there were two Republican State Senators in Brooklyn was 1982 when State Senator Knorr represented a small part of Brooklyn with Chris Mega. The last time there were two Republican-Conservative senators entirely from Brooklyn was during the Eisenhower administration.

These are history-making times for the Republican and Conservative Parties in Brooklyn. Only this past September, as has been often reported, Congressmember Turner’s election was the first election of a Republican representative to Congress in Southeast Brooklyn since the 1920s.

Considering that the district is better than three to one Democratic in enrollment, a Storobin election is a tremendous upset. And this upset occurred with an unusually high turnout for a special election, which shows that it was not a fluke. Storobin also received a very high Conservative Party vote, which as the chairperson of the party in Brooklyn, I am quite happy to note.

Hopefully, the counting of the paper ballots and certification for this election will be faster than some past close elections where the counting went on for almost three months.

If this was to happen in this district, a new senator would not be seated until after the legislative session in Albany ended. What a tragedy that would be for the citizens of this district.

First they were represented by Carl Kruger, now a convicted felon who could serve 10-plus years in prison. Then, since December, they were represented by no one. And now with every passing day as the ballot count continues, they continue not to be represented in Albany.

The Board of Elections must count the paper ballots as quickly as possible, so a new senator can be seated and the people represented.

* * *

The Congressional re-apportionment just completed by a federal court significantly changes the look of Congressional districts in Brooklyn with the possible exception of Congressmember Grimm.

Several districts which primarily ran east to west now run north to south. Thus, Marine Park, Bergen Beach and Howard Beach are now in a district that includes East New York, Canarsie, Starrett City and Cypress Hills with Congressmember Ed Towns as the Congressmember. Congressmember Yvette Clark is the incumbent Congressmember in a district that runs from Brownsville to Gerritsen Beach.

Congressmember Michael Grimm’s district went from approximately 205,000 people in Brooklyn to closer to 250,000 people. He lost some areas of Bensonhurst, but picked up all of Homecrest. He continues to represent almost all of Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights as well as Bath Beach.

Petitioning for Congress has already begun with the primary scheduled for June 26 and of course the general election for November 6.

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