City Councilman Lew Fidler currently trails David Storobin by three votes in the State Senate special election. The two sides are in court today, but there remains an outstanding question as the Democrats and Republicans battle over every last vote: Does Mr. Fidler even want to win.
Mr. Fidler’s current City Council salary is $112,000, plus whatever he gets as a chair of the Youth Services Committee; his State Senate salary would be $30,000 less. Plus, much of the work of the State Senate is done, since the budget was passed last month. If the recount drags on, Mr. Fidler may serve for only a few weeks or not at all, and he will be giving up a Council seat (albeit one he is term-limited out of in 2014) for a State Senate seat that will be redistricted out of existence by the time the November elections.
Thus, there have been persistent rumors that if he wins, Mr. Fidler will decline to be sworn in.
Today he tried to shut down those rumors.
“That is not true,” he said. “And quite frankly there are a lot of ifs ands and buts, and a lot of things that are moving parts here. So anyone who has told you that I have made any kind decision about anything is absolutely out of their minds, because I haven’t.”
Later though, Mr. Fidler clarified to say that no decision has been made, especially since he is not sure when or if he will be sworn in.
“I don’t know. I don’t know. That is the answer. I don’t know what to tell you,” he said. ”It may be certified in a day. It may be certified in a week. It may be certified in three months. Don’t you think the answer to those questions will have a bearing on the question you just asked me. It could get certified in October after the Court of Appeals [rules]. That is a very different question than if I get certified now. If it is late in the year and the session is over, I would seriously have to look at whether or not we were saving taxpayers a quarter of a million dollars by not taking the oath for a vestigial seat.”
Mr. Fidler was in the doctor’s office when The Politicker reached him. He was unable to campaign during much of the race due to a severe allergic reaction to medications he was taking. And he declined to say at which point in the calendar he will decide that it will be better off to just leave the office vacant.
“I am not going to put a deadline on it. I am not going to do that. There are so many different factors,” he said. “But at this point it is fair to say that if I win I intend to serve.”
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