Barack Obama was the forgotten man in the 17th State Senate District today as both candidates in Brooklyn’s newly created, so-called “Super Jewish” district sought to link their names with Mitt Romney.
Flyers for David Storobin, a Republican who won last year’s race to fill the seat vacated by imprisoned State Sen. Carl Kruger, advised voters that he “stands with Mitt Romney,” and together they would be “a team for our families and our community.”
Simcha Felder, although appearing on the Democratic line, advised people to cast ballots on the Conservative Party line for both himself and the Romney/Ryan ticket. (His poll cards skipped over Wendy Long, the Republican/Conservative candidate for U.S. Senate.)
Storobin says the new district with its large number of Orthodox Jewish residents is definitely Romney territory. “If he can’t win here, I don’t see where he could win,” Storobin says.
Despite that observation, Storobin thinks he will benefit from Felder’s embrace of Romney. “He tells people to vote Republican. They start voting on the Republican line and keep voting on the Republican line,” Storobin says.
Felder, who served as a Democrat in the City Council and later worked for progressive City Comptroller John Liu, clearly sees his party status as fluid. He has said that he would probably caucus with the State Senate Republicans if they maintain their majority (or perhaps if his shift could preserve it). After voting at P.S. 134 in Kensington this morning, Felder noted, “It’s clear whoever is in the majority will be able to do more for constituents of the 17th District.”
“The parties are not a religion,” he continued. “People have different views on different issues.”
While in City Council, Felder said, his record mixed fiscal conservatism with a commitment to helping seniors and other individuals in need. (Felder also is a social conservative who voted against various abortion bills and would conveniently be in the men’s room when council members chose Christie Quinn as their speaker.)
Storobin accuses Felder of supporting tax hikes and flip-flopping on his support for President Obama and other issues. “He was for everything and against everything,” Storobin says. “You have to have some kind of values.”
Meanwhile, near another polling site in the district, Nachman Mostofsky stood at the corner of 16th Avenue and East 16th Street in Borough Park handing out flyers and bellowing his call for voters to vote the straight Republican ticket. Mostofsky holds various posts with the Conservative Party but was a Republican this morning because he serves as director of community affairs for Storobin. Storobin lost the Conservative primary to Felder, who staged that extreme rarity: a successful write-in campaign.
So, Mostofsky is Republican for a day. Actually, he said, “today, I’m a believer in freedom and liberty for all.”