Media Mogul Gregory Davidzon Announces Write-In Candidacy to Replace Councilman Mike Nelson

Suddenly, Russian kingmaker joins Brighton Beach council race

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A Russian-language media mogul threw his ushanka in the ring as a last-minute candidate for a council seat that represents Brooklyn’s “Little Odessa” —but he’s going to need voters to bring their pens to voting booths on Nov. 5.

Newspaper and radio tycoon Gregory Davidzon is using his multi-media influence to run as a write-in candidate for seat of term-limited Councilman Mike Nelson (D–Brighton Beach) — pitting himself against Democratic Nelson aide Chaim Deutsch and Republican former state Sen. David Storobin.

Davidzon, an independent who is not registered to vote, touted his experience as a businessman, and his commitment to public safety and free enterprise, in announcing his candidacy — issues he argued are especially important in the wake of last year’s superstorm and the impending exit of Mayor Bloomberg.

“With our economy far from robust, still suffering after Sandy, and with the city entering the post-Bloomberg era, it’s vital that our community be represented by a councilman who understands the economy,” Davidzon said

But even Davidzon supporters said that the candidate — whose name will not be on the ballot — is unlikely to win.

“It’s a long shot. An uphill battle,” said Assemblyman Alec Brook-Krasny (D–Coney Island), who has endorsed Davidzon’s bid for office.

Brook-Krasny said he was supporting Davidzon because he believed the newspaper and radio magnate has a deep understanding of the needs of the constituents of Sheepshead Bay, Brighton Beach, Manhattan Beach, and parts of Midwood — the so-called “Super-Russian district.” The elected predicted Davidzon would draw strong support from Russian speakers — just as Brook-Krasny’s unsuccessful 2000 write-in bid for state Assembly did.

“I think we need to energize the Russian community,” said Brook-Krasny.

But a political insider said that Davidzon’s campaign was in fact an attempt to bolster the American-born Deutsch by drawing Soviet emigre votes away from the Russian-born Storobin — whom Davidzon has feuded with in the past. Davidzon backed Storobin’s opponent, Councilman Lew Fidler (D–Marine Park), in the special election to replace disgraced State Sen. Carl Kruger last year. Storobin won that round.

“They’re trying to hurt Storobin, and help Chaim Deutsch,” the party insider said.

But Brook-Krasny said it was not in Davidzon’s personality to run as a straw candidate.

“Knowing Gregory, I think he is running to win,” the pol said. “He is not running as a spoiler.”

In any case, there already is another Russian-speaking candidate in the race for the 48th — and his name will actually be on the ballot. Igor Oberman, who lost the Democratic nomination to Deutsch, is still running on the Working Families Party line.

Updated 12:16 pm, October 22, 2013
Reach reporter Will Bredderman at wbredderman@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4507. Follow him at twitter.com/WillBredderman.
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Reader feedback

Jake from Brooklyn says:
Why is he running now? where was he before? what has he done for the community? what can he do for the community for our neighborhoods? Why is Brook-Krasny endorsing him over a party backed democratic party candidate? is there more to this story?

google search gave me this http://politicker.com/2013/09/russian-power-broker-looks-ahead-after-salgado-loss/

why was he supporting Salgado?

"“It’s the same thing with the Tea Party,” he noted. “it’s a right-wing of the Republican Part. Working Families is the left-wing of the Democratic Party. We can do that here.”
Oct. 18, 2013, 9:26 am
jerry from brighton beach says:
Why would Brook-Krasny support Davidzon ?

There was a Democartic Primary in which there was a clear winner. Chaim Deutsch.

Krasny is just another Political Hack kissing up to a Media Hack !

Others are forgetting that Oberman is also in the General Election running on the Working Family Line , so the argument that Davidzon will take Russian votes away from Storobin is moot. Oberman being on the ballot will accomplish that.
Oct. 18, 2013, 9:35 am
Galina from Coney Island says:
Alec Brook Krasny and Kagan have to support him.
Because they will be losing his radio for next time of their election.
Who cares about community..? And what this person did for community? Except to hire the people with out legal documents and paid cash.
What's wrong with our people .? He is running to win? He just like to see his name everywhere .
He is biggest joke I ever saw.
Oct. 19, 2013, 5:34 am
Ari Kagan from Brighton Beach says:
Gregory Davidzon created hundreds of jobs, supported many small businesses, needy seniors and important non-for-profits, advocated for more resources for the community after Sandy. His radio is free for listeners and his daily newspaper Reporter is also free. Davidzon cares about New York, Brooklyn and our community.

That is why he is running. And I am proud to endorse him.
Oct. 19, 2013, 10:10 am
lEV from BRIGHTON says:
Chaim Deutsch has a long record of community service and won the primary. He's the qualified candidate in this race.
Oct. 19, 2013, 8 pm
galina from coney island says:
I always have some feeling about Ari brain.
But after his statement I*m sure.
He is real shmuck and absolutely with out brain
So low quality of this person.
Oct. 19, 2013, 8:21 pm
LOL from Midwood says:
Gregory Davidzon is a very serious candidate. He has long been an outstanding citizen and a bastion of civic engagement in the Russian community.


Moreover, he can't even find cronies that could put out propaganda without spelling mistakes.

I wonder if Davidzon consulted with Ari Kagan before he decided to run as a "Wright in" candidate.

Front page of Davidzon's newspaper on Friday: http://imgur.com/GB2nkAf

For whole paper: http://issuu.com/reporterru/docs/reporter-594?e=2670725%2F5281116
Oct. 20, 2013, 1:18 am
Ben A from Midwood says:
Ari Kagan is a scorned puppet of Davidzon, who will do as Gregory says. He has no balls and is a total sell out without any principles. He is totally controlled by Davidzon as is Brook Krasny. Kagan will now try to run against Steve Cymbrowitz and will get his ass whipped just like Davidzon will get it on Nov 5. They say they care about the community, but they have hardly done anything for the community except showing their faces at the public events and speaking; oh they know how to speak.

Davidzon's (mostly illegal) workers all hate him he has no friends and he operates by intimidation. Everyone who ever partnered with him are always end up either in court or in debt. Kagan never had a real job in his life, and Krasny is under investigation by the corruption commission. Make your vote count, say NO to corruption.
Oct. 21, 2013, 8:49 am
inga from sheepshead bay says:
I am not a big fan of Kagan but what Kagan has to do with an upcoming election? He lost! Enough!. Who he supports and why it is his own problem. People wake up, few comments are put there only for one reason-distract you from talking about real candidates and real issues. Election is just around the corner and if we do not elect a hardworking individual with a proven record, we will have problems.
I am for Chaim! He is for real.
Lets talk about Kagan and his brain after election!
Oct. 21, 2013, 7:54 pm
irina from Sheepshead Bay says:
Is Davidson really not a registered voter? If that's true he has not been involved in the community and doesn't deserve a single vote. It's every citizens obligation to vote!

Doesn't our community have better qualified Russian American candidates than Kagan, Storobin and Davidson?

So far everything I've read about this Deutsch impresses me and I'd like to see him elected.
Oct. 22, 2013, 6:30 pm
allan feinblum from midwood says:
Write-in candidates will be the future of politics in New York City. Write-in candidates bypass the party bosses and make it more likely when the candidate is elected he will vote his conscience an d the validity of issues and not as a party member. In 2012 I ran as a write-in candidate for Assemblyman and received the highest write-in votes for the 45th AD. The Courier ran an article by reporter Collins which enabled me to get my views out to our readers. I believe in ending excessive stop and frisk, ending solitary confinement on Rikers Island for mentally ill and young people 16-21. I attend NYC Council Hearings and meet with many progressive members of the council. I am for immigration reform and oppose placing immigrants in jails while their cases are heard. I testified on 10/24/13 at a Council Hearing exposing solitary confinement for immigrants for minor rule violation and placing LGBT immigrants in solitary confinement for their own "protection" even though they indicate they want to be part of the general population. If you want to vote for a veteran (1962-68 US Army Reserve), founder of a non-profit baseball team for children 10-12, someone who at the age of 74 is a matriculated student at Kingsborough College, write-in Allan Feinblum.
Oct. 25, 2013, 8:55 am
Galina from Coney island says:
I thought everything was over with u.
Enough, you,Davidzon,Ari . Brooklyn is so big. Why only idiot try to run.
Oct. 25, 2013, 5:22 pm
Larry Gorlik from Coney Island says:
This Deutsch seems to the only one in the election that's not an idiot. Starobin brags about the bills he introduced during his couple of weeks in the Senate, Davidzon has never voted in the USA. What a joke and leaderAri Kagan endorses a non voter.

Don't the Russians have a reputable candidate?
Oct. 29, 2013, 6:17 pm

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