BROOKLYN — The heated race to replace disgraced State Sen. Carl Kruger is still too close to call, but that hasn't stopped both sides from claiming victory.
City Councilman Lew Fidler and Republican attorney David Storobin had fought a colorful — and oftentimes below-the-belt — battle to win the special election for Kruger’s state senate seat, which represents Brooklyn's Brighton Beach, Midwood and Borough Park.
An unofficial early count has Fidler trailing with 10,636 votes, versus Storobin’s 10,756 — a difference of just 120 votes, Board of Elections spokeswoman Valerie Vazquez said. But more than 757 absentee and overseas ballots have not yet been counted, giving Fidler an opening for a win.
But even though the outcome remains unclear, both sides declared victory to celebrating supporters Tuesday night.
“I'm proud of winning and I’m proud to be your next state senator,” Fidler reportedly told dozens of supporter at the Kings Bay Y on Nostrand Avenue, according to the Brooklyn Daily.
Less then two miles away, Storobin was reportedly telling 100 supporters at a local restaurant the same thing,
“I’m going to go to Albany and fight for you,” he was quoted by the website saying. “When we started this campaign, nobody gave us a chance, but we won.”
The 757 outstanding absentee ballots are expected to be counted next Tuesday, said Vazquez, who said it is too early to say how long the final determination might take.
The two-man race had been a bitter battle, with the two Jewish men frequently attacking the others' religion.
At one point, Fidler accused his opponent to being linked to skinheads and neo-Nazis. Storobin shot back, accusing Fidler of insulting Holocaust survivors.
Whoever wins the race will almost-immediately be forced to begin running again for another seat, since Kruger's district was eliminated during the recent redistricting fight.