Ben Akselrod, a conservative Democrat who nearly unseated Brooklyn Assemblyman Steve Cymbrowitz two years ago, will challenge the state lawmaker again.
Mr. Akelrod recently filed a campaign committee and said today he is ready for the match.
“I certainly hope to win. Look, the status quo can’t continue forever. I think I have more energy, more desire to do the job,” Mr. Akselrod told the Observer. “There are still many problems with Hurricane Sandy recovery … It’s a year and a half later and we’re still talking about things that should have been done 15 days after the storm hit.”
The southern Brooklyn district, roping in parts of Sheepshead Bay, Brighton Beach, Manhattan Beach and Gravesend, is one of the most politically conservative districts in the city. Mr. Akselrod, a Russian-American hoping once more to capitalize on the support of right-leaning Russian and Orthodox voters in the district, ran an aggressive race against Mr. Cymbrowitz in 2012, coming just a few hundred votes shy of unseating the longtime incumbent. Mr. Akselrod would continue the election on the Independence Party line and lose overwhelmingly.
The race was vitriolic and even gaffe-filled; Mr. Akseldrod at one point drew headlines for a racially-charged typo in a mailer attacking Mr. Cymbrowitz. Mr. Akselrod, however, said he would triumph this time because sheer work ethic.
“I hope to connect with more people personally. I made a personal commitment that I will knock on as many doors as I possibly can,” he said. “I will first and foremost dedicate myself to this and I hope people will see the difference.”
“I think there is a lot more that can be done. I don’t want to call him names,” Mr. Akselrod continued, speaking about his rival. “But the proof is in pudding. Things are not getting done.”
Mr. Cymbrowitz welcomed the challenge.
“We live in a democracy in the greatest country in the world and anyone can run for office. At the same time we’re fortunate that we have a thoughtful process in place that allows people to choose their elected officials based on merits and accomplishments,” Mr. Cymbrowitz said. “I welcome the opportunity to engage in the democratic process and to continue doing what I’ve been doing for 13 years, which is fighting on behalf of my constituents.”