Published in
The Empire

Councilman Lew Fidler likely Dem pick for open Kruger seat in Brooklyn

Councilman Lewis Fidler

In the fallout over disgraced former state Senator Carl Kruger’s resignation, rumors have been swirling in the press over who will be running to fill the seat. On the Democratic side, it is almost sure to be City Councilman Lew Fidler. In conversations with Democratic officials, it was clear that Fidler has the backing of the Brooklyn Democratic Party (there are no primaries in special elections, so the party organization picks its candidate). Adding to this assurance is that labor groups, which back the Working Families Party, are content enough with Fidler that they won’t run someone to his left.

The Councilman has been not-so-subtlety suggesting he’d be gunning for the seat for some time. This is partly because he will be term limited out of his position in the city council in 2013 (he got a new lease on life when the Mayor Bloomberg-backed term limit override allowed him to run for a third term). Fidler has been showered with city council discretionary funds over the years, and has been close to Speaker Christine Quinn. That wasn’t enough, though, to help him secure the most coveted of council chairmanships—finance--back in 2009. The spot went to the Bloomberg-backed Domenic M. Recchia, Jr.

On the Republican side, it’s been reported that David Storobin, a Brooklyn GOP official, is angling for the seat. The Observer reports that he's meeting with key Republican officials today. There are a number of factors that could make this a competitive race—the district is relatively conservative, it voted for Republican Congressman Bob Turner by a 2-1 margin back in September, if the special election is held on the Republican presidential primary date—but Fidler, with his name recognition and fundraising ability, would be a difficult candidate to beat.