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Outcome uncertain in bitter Brooklyn special election

NEW YORK (JTA) — The outcome of a bitterly fought special election between two Jewish candidates in a southern Brooklyn state Senate district remains uncertain the day after the vote.

Democrat Lewis Fidler and Republican David Storobin both claimed victory Tuesday night after polls closed. Unofficial results from Tuesday night showed Storobin ahead by 120 votes, with at least 757 paper absentee ballots remaining to be counted starting next week.

They are vying to replace state Sen. Carl Kruger, who resigned last year after pleading guilty to corruption charges.

The race in the district, which has large numbers of Russian-speaking and Orthodox Jews, has been acrimonious.

Ads appeared in local Orthodox newspapers attacking Fidler, a city councilman, citing his support for same-sex marriage and previous self-description as a “bacon-and-eggs kind of Jew.” It is unclear who paid for the ads.

Fidler at one point accused Storobin of “ties to skinheads, neo-Nazis and white supremacists.” Storobin had interviewed an Afrikaaner separatist from South Africa and an anti-immigration activist from the Minuteman Project for a web magazine he edited, and white supremacist sites had linked to his articles from the publication.

Storobin, who emigrated from the Soviet Union as a child, angrily rejected the accusation. Fidler later said he regretted the characterization, saying he wished he had used the word “links” rather than “ties.”

The articles in question have been removed from the site.

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