Chaim Deutsch, Shomrim Founder, Joins Council Race

BROOKLYN, N.Y. -

Chaim Deutsch, the founder of the Flatbush Shomrim, confirmed on Friday that he plans to run to replace his term-limited boss, Councilman Mike Nelson, in the newly-redistricted Flatbush seat.

Mr. Deutsch, 43, plans to begin raising funds after Pesach, and will file papers shortly afterward, he told Hamodia.

“Until now if someone asked if I am running the answer would be that I’m not sure — now the answer is that I am running,” Mr. Deutsch, who recently became a grandfather, said.

He faces a crowded field, with as many as four Russian-Americans vying for the Russian-majority district. Ari Kagan, a local district leader, as well as attorneys Igor Oberman and Michael Treybich, and community-board chairwoman Theresa Scavo, either have broad name recognition or have raised substantial sums.

Friday was the deadline for declaring fundraising totals, and some of the candidates have raked in sizeable donations. Mr. Oberman, who started campaigning three weeks ago, has already raised more than $85,000, the largest amount declared by anyone running for the council across the city this cycle.

Mr. Kagan, who has much of the Democratic establishment behind him, established a committee but has not declared any significant donations yet. Mr. Treybich did not release his totals, and Ms. Scavo has nearly $35,000 from a previous campaign.

Mr. Deutsch comes from a respected Satmar family; his cousin was an attendant of the previous Satmar Rebbe. He has been Councilman Nelson’s chief of staff for the past few years.