Chaim Deutsch Wins Brooklyn Council Seat

By Alyson Kaufman

Democratic candidate Chaim Deutsch won the race on Tuesday for Brooklyn’s 48th City Council District in south Brooklyn, handily beating his Republican opponent David Storobin.

Storobin lost despite his opposition to gay marriage in the large Orthodox Jewish community of Brighton Beach, Midwood and Gravesend, a position that was essential to his winning the Senate race against Councilman Lewis Fidler in 2012, a post he held only briefly.

Speaking at a fund-raiser on Oct. 23, Storobin claimed that his Democratic rival, Chaim Deutsch, doesn’t live “anywhere near” the Brooklyn district they are competing to represent, and therefore lacks awareness of the area’s recent struggles.

“When the boardwalk is broken, when a business gets shut down, I see it every day,” said Storobin. “[My opponent] needs a map to figure out where this place is.”

According to the Board of Elections, however, Deutsch does reside within the 48th District. “I’m not interested in talking about my opponents,” said Deutsch. “What I’m 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.”

Deutsch will be taking over for his former boss, Councilman Michael Nelson, for whom he was chief of operations. “I think he is, without a doubt, the most qualified person for the job,” said Nelson. “He knows the whole operation, he knows how to get things done. He’s helped so many people over the years, and he has the wherewithal and the connections to help people not only with disasters, but with day-to-day stuff too.”

Deutsch defeated Igor Oberman in the Democratic primary, however the rivalry continued as Oberman ran on the Working Families ballot for the 48th council district. As a private citizen, Oberman donated $250 to Republican candidate David Storobin during his campaign for state Senate.

A campaign spokeswoman for Oberman said that his support for Storobin was due to their “long-lasting friendship” and that there were “effectively two Republicans running in that race.” This references Simcha Felder who, after beating Storobin, joined the Republican caucus in Albany. “You have to support your friends and the people that will do right in the office,” said Oberman’s spokeswoman.

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