UPDATE: A Fidler spokeswoman called in to clarify that Fidler has $400,000 in cash on hand. He did not raise $400,000 over the past six months. The article has been changed to reflect that.
In a press scrum following his boisterous Senate campaign kickoff this afternoon, Councilman Lew Fidler said he expected have “at least” $400,000 in cash on hand as of his campaign filing on Tuesday. He had previously reported raising $330,000 in July. His GOP opponent, David Storobin, reportedly will report raising $120,000.
Other happenings of note:
-Fidler said that in addition to the Democratic line, he had also locked up the support of the Independence Party. Storobin has locked down support from the Republicans and Conservatives.
- At least one top member of the powerful Jewish social services giant Agudath Israel of America was in attendance: Leon Goldenberg, an influential trustee on the group’s board. Notably not in attendance were top Agudath lobbyists Shmuel Lefkowitz and Shiya Ostreicher, who struck a deal with Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos last year to land $18 million in tuition assistance money for rabbinical students. As a non-profit, Agudath cannot make endorsement – but the support of individual leaders often serves as a tacit acknowledgement of the organization’s support.
- Fidler addressed Republican criticisms tying him to corruption in the Brooklyn Democratic Party – and hitting him for announcing at City Hall, instead of in his Brooklyn district – head on. He noted the slew of community members – not just elected officials – that showed up at the event. He also denounced the actions of convicted State Sen. Carl Kruger, the previous Democratic incumbent, as “despicable.”
- The elected officials in attendance included: Councilman Domenic Recchia, Councilman Vincent Gentile, Assemblyman Alec Brook-Krasny, Councilman Jumaane Williams, Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito, Councilman Steve Levin, Assemblywoman Helen Weinstein, Councilman Michael Nelson, Assemblyman Alan Maisel – and Brooklyn BP Marty Markowitz, who served as emcee.
Markowitz went through the list of elected officials present before Fidler spoke, and noted how many there were. That was a little strange, since Fidler then got up and noted that it wasn’t just, as the Senate Republicans put it in a statement this morning, the “professional politicians, the party bosses who handed him the nomination, and the wealthy special interests who will bankroll his latest run for office” in attendance.
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